New FCC rules will let a single company own a town's ISP, newspapers, 2 TV stations and 8 radio stations

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38 Responses to “New FCC rules will let a single company own a town's ISP, newspapers, 2 TV stations and 8 radio stations”

  1. paul beard says:

    I can’t find out how much an FCC commissioner makes but wouldn’t a rubber stamp be cheaper?

    The UW hosted an FCC field hearing on this issue in 2003 (http://www.paulbeard.org/wordpress/2003/03/07/democracy-in-action/ ) and the issues and concerns were much the same: level of local representative voices, the homogenization of opinion, the strip mining of local economies as media companies suck the profits from their far flung outposts back to hq.

    Just because someone asks for more power doesn’t you have to give it to them.

  2. ocker3 says:

    Oh, don’t worry America, consolidation of media ownership won’t cause you problems like it has in the past with the Spanish-American war of 1898. And ignore the problems we have in Australia where one media owner says the word and dozens of radio, print, online and TV outlets spew the same vacuous and ancient attacks against a politician.

    • There were easily a dozen newspapers of real note in New York City that people read beyond Pulitzer and Hearst’s rags, like the Times. In San Francisco, people still had the SF Chronicle. Be careful when you generalize about a country.

      Sent from my kangaroo pouch

      • Josh Allen says:

         Here in columbus ohio our local conservative newspaper has bought out the two alternative newspapers, and our airwaves are run by one or two conservative companies.  We still have NPR, but other than that, it is all right wing propaganda 24-7.  We are not a small town.  We are the 16 largest city in the U.S.

      • ocker3 says:

        Uh, I’m talking about the dangers free media might face if further consolidation is allowed, and you’re saying that things are currently fine.

        Your point doesn’t seem to speak to my point, unless you’re speaking about a specific time period, but I don’t see that in your post.

        Are you saying Hearst Didn’t send America to war with Spain (or at the very least, faster than it would have happened anyway and potentially on a larger scale) by printing fake stories?

  3. Well, yeah, that’s regulation working as intended.  The small outfits get squeezed out.

    • robuluz says:

      Wait, what? Isn’t the entire purpose of this regulation to ensure market competition? If the market was unregulated it would be monopolised almost instantly wouldn’t it?

      • ocker3 says:

        Can’t tell if Sarcasm or doesn’t understand the point/outcome of the legislation…

        • robuluz says:

          Its not sarcasm. But when I am discussing the point of regulating media ownership, I’m talking about the regulation of media ownership in general, not the effect of these FCC rules on the greater body of regulation.

          The post above appears to imply that regulation in general creates barriers to entry, but maybe I misunderstood it. 

  4. milwaukeewobbly says:

    Welcome to Milwaukee, WI.  Journal Communications Inc bought the only other newspaper in town and closed it down.  They own tv & radio stations;  enough to dominate the market.  Our news media has sucked for over 15 years now (JCI owns media in other markets, but their greatest stranglehold is still Milwaukee),

    AND……..all the local indie weeklies are printed on JCI’s presses!  Heaven forbid the local (now non) radical weekly criticizes a JCI supported politician. 

    AND, AND, we STILL have to deal with Fox news!  Any wonder Wisconsin is run by a neo-fascist Republican governor and legislature?

  5. MythicalMe says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about this, It’s obviously not a good thing for media conglomerates to dominate a market, but on the other hand people don’t get their news from traditional sources anymore.

    To set up a local media outlet on the web is easy and relatively inexpensive. The hard part is getting the news, but a lot of that is available just by visiting city hall.

    Make friends with local small business owners. Many small businesses are shoestring operations. We’re always looking for public exposure. You know what advertising costs? I do, I’m a business owner. Offer to write a column about my business and you’ve got a news source. If you came to me with a decent website, asked me about my business and offered me advertising space for $25 per month, I’d help you out by buying space and getting traffic to your site.

    As long as a person is willing to put in the effort there’s a way to stop the domination.

    • I am pretty sure that for the over 40 set in the Red States at least, the primary source of news is still TV and dead trees.

      • MythicalMe says:

         As a guy who is 52 and knows a lot of people in my age group and older, living in a rural area, I can say with confidence that we do get our news from a wide variety of sources. Yes we know the pleasure of reading a newspaper, and we are more likely to have a radio on, but don’t forget that we did popularize computers, the Internet and many of us still innovate using our devices and gadgets.

  6. ffabian says:

    If the news outlets get crappy there will be demand for different media outlets – thats the free market. Trust in capitalism or get out you communists. /s

  7. Lemoutan says:

    What’s a ‘newspaper’? What are these ‘TV’ and ‘radio’ stations of which you speak?

  8. bryan rasmussen says:

    Luckily Rupert Murdoch will never be able to get his greedy fingers into Pottersville. 

  9. Rider says:

    Antiquated laws that no longer mater thanks to the internet. 

    No one is even reading, watching, or listening to local media anymore. 

    • Boundegar says:

      …except all those voters whose choices you find inconceivable.

    • onefool says:

      Wrong! The mouth breathers listen to AM hate radio all day and watch crappy FOX news.  A move like this will consolidate the fear mongers grip over a local market.  And possibly deliver an ISP into their grasp too, which is a very Bad IDEA.

    • MTBooks says:

      This “antiquated” law/act/whatever would let them own local ISPs, aka most local access to the internet. It does matter and it does affect the internet.

      • milwaukeewobbly says:

        I’m not so sure.  Look at Syria.  All internet & cell service shut down.  Yes, by the State, but there’s not so much seperation beyween Media & State these days in the USA.

  10. Gordon Stark says:

    Media consolidation is the greatest threat to security in our times. By some measures, it is too late.

  11. onefool says:

    shared on facebook and posted to Fark.com and Slashdot.org

    this is absolutely insane and the FCC is out of their damn minds for even suggesting this

  12. personagratin says:

    So CBS recently brought another FM radio station in NYC to simulcast their AM sports station (WFAN). The radio watchers were trying to figure out how they could do that, since they already hit their max of 8 stations (2 TV stations and 6 radio). Well, the second TV station is on the tip of Long Island (about 70 miles), and CBS is making the case that since you can’t listen to their radio stations that far, NYC is its own “cluster”, and the tip of LI is a second “cluster”.

    The gristly details: http://www.fybush.com/nerw-10152012-unpacking-the-new-wfan-fm/

  13. ant0 says:

    The previous FCC chair Michael Powell was a neo-con yesman and son of former Sec. of State Colin Powell. When his commission tried the same maneuver a few years back there was a MASSIVE public outcry. In fact, the comment period that preceded their decision formed the largest body of comment in FCC history with the overwhelming majority of the comments from the public voicing serious concern over further ownership deregulation.

    Of course the public record was completely ignored and the republican controlled commission voted to deregulate anyway- no surprise there? The surprise came when activists and lawyers from the prometheus radio project and media access project sued the FCC – and won ! That decision was repeatedly upheld on appeal by a panel of federal circuit court judges. These guys are appointed for life and do not typically have the reputation for being “unfriendly” to business interests so one can only imagine the utter BS that the FCC was pushing as a justification for this disasterous and sweeping change.

    Yet here we go again- meet the new boss, same as the old boss! Its a Democratic commission now with Genachowski at the helm but here we see the EXACT same shameful anti-democratic policies. Will it take yet another federal lawsuit to stop these shenanigans? The embarrassing defeat in the media cross ownership lawsuit was pretty much the defining moment of Powell’s career as commissioner. After dropping the ball at the FCC he ended up as a “fellow” at the American Enterprise Institute- one thing about those neo-cons- win or lose they take care of their own ! Will this be Chairman Genchowski’s legacy as well ???

  14. anchorsaway12 says:

    I fail to see how our media can get any less diverse.  I flipped channels between the major evening news broadcasts last night and they all covered exactly the same stories with exactly the same information.  I don’t care whether they are owned by the same outfit or not – we are being fed the same s**t.   Oh, have you heard about the menu for the Romney-Obama lunch yesterday?  I have; about 28 times. 

    • jandrese says:

      The worst part was that the story was a non news item. 

      President and failed candidate still need to consume food to survive, may have discussed something.  News at 11.

  15. Lucas Sallovitz says:

    I remember 3 years ago when Argentina passed a law to avoid these kinds of things that was titled something like “Argentina attacks free press”, funny eh?

  16. msbpodcast says:

    As the oligarchs win (and Ol’ Rupe is the quintessential definition of an oligarch) you have to realize that they aren’t fighting with the same weapons or on the same ground as us.

    Their goals aren’t the same either.

    They have millennial problems and eventually leave those problems behind.

    Like Alexander the Great, they leave their little empires to the strongest, because they don’t have a choice.

    Their only exit is exactly the same as Steve Jobs: they die.

    What comes after is always the same, their heirs never have the same passion, drive, luck, cussedness, touch of evil and je ne sais quoi that made them rise.

    Eventually everything winds down, gracefully or it becomes rapidly unmanageable and break down messily. If you’re lucky, what’s left behind is a foundation devoted to perpetuating itself and doing charitable works. If you’re not lucky, what’s left causes a rapid redistribution of wealth and blood shed.

    Eventually the next bunch will be obsoleted by new technology just like this technology was obsoleted.

  17. Nillerz says:

    I would like it if any mention of “Women and People of Color” were simply replaced with “Everyone except white dudes”.

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