FCC Approves Media Cross-Ownership | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

FCC Approves Media Cross-Ownership

Sure, you could try to maintain your CorporateDaily(TM) hegemony in a market like Jackson by locking up free distribution points in exclusive contracts. Or, you could turn to a variety of non-daily products, including forced circulation papers you toss in people's yards or send to their mailbox regardless of their interest in your product. You might even paper the sidewalks with half-assed competitors to your competitors...cookie-cutter print manifestations of your print partnerships in sites like Cars.com and Apartments.com.

But what if, instead of all that rigamarole, you could shore up your profits by buying a local TV station? Consolidate the rate card, offer JoJo and his elephant a chance at both TV and newspaper stardom...and then sit back and let all those independent media voices quiet down a bit more. Wouldn't that be nice?

A divided Federal Communications Commission approved what could be the biggest change in the country's media-ownership rules in more than a decade, allowing newspapers and broadcasters in a market to buy each other.

On a 3-to-2, party-line vote, the FCC approved Chairman Kevin J. Martin's plan to eliminate its more than 30-year-old ban on cross-ownership. Instead, newspapers in the top 20 markets will be able to buy any station that isn't among the top four in its market. In smaller markets, such a purchase could be approved if the buyer promises to add at least seven hours of news a week to the bought stations.

Previous Comments

ID
116098
Comment

Amazing. Another stinker gift from the Bush administration. Even Trent Lott has fought this. And see here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-12-21T11:30:03-06:00
ID
116099
Comment

However, one can argue that for the younger population, both the local print media and local broadcast media are irrelevant and dinosaurs in the targeted internet media. Online publications will be able to offer both written and streamed content making monopoly of a local market with "classical" media less important. I look forward to this in a way, since it will drive advertisers to the internet and help these local modern publications survive. And I have a question, why are these newspaper people allowed to toss junk in your yard once or twice a week? I wouldn't file a police complaint since it really isn't the delivery guys fault, but is there anyway to stop the trash these guys generate?

Author
GLewis
Date
2007-12-21T11:51:08-06:00
ID
116100
Comment

And I have a question, why are these newspaper people allowed to toss junk in your yard once or twice a week? I wouldn't file a police complaint since it really isn't the delivery guys fault, but is there anyway to stop the trash these guys generate? I was thinking the same thing myself. We don't get the Clarion-Loser at my house anymore and I sure as heck don't want the Hinds Ledger (though you get it whether you subscribe or not).

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-12-21T13:12:40-06:00
ID
116101
Comment

I throw away that silly Rankin Ledger as soon as I get it out of the mailbox. The only reason I feel bad is because of the trees it wastes. I guess I should start recycling those or something.

Author
andi
Date
2007-12-21T13:55:06-06:00
ID
116102
Comment

Can't you call up and opt out? I find it really offensive that a newspaper company thinks it has the right to mail me their papers or throw it in my yard without me requesting it in order to hike their circulation numbers!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-12-21T14:22:52-06:00
ID
116103
Comment

Online publications will be able to offer both written and streamed content making monopoly of a local market with "classical" media less important. I look forward to this in a way, since it will drive advertisers to the internet and help these local modern publications survive. As a "long run" view this makes some sense, as long as you don't care *who* owns the "local modern publications." But I think it glosses the problem in the interim, particularly if you want independent voices to survive. Generally speaking, consolidation of these large media outlets will not necessarily open up competition to smaller, independent outlets...they'll create larger monopolies within their traditional media segments. That could allow them to mop up ad dollars in the short run while funding their own media's transition the the Web. After all, they know they have a problem, too. Even when traditional media wasn't "dying," there was good reason not to allow for cross-ownership between print and TV outlets. The notion that it's simply about the number of hours of news programming on the TV station is asinine, particularly in this day and age. It's much more about controlling a significant percentage of available advertising inventory and finding ways to create synergies that other outlets can't beat. Right now, there are no local advertisers who are going to put a significant porportion of their ad budget in online...some dabble, no doubt, others don't...although more of them will over the next five years or so. So, in the interim, if you want to put hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars into the salaries necessary to have a newsgathering operation, you're going to be making that money in more traditional venues such as print and television. Then, once you do get to the web, you'll be dealing with some lowest-common-denominator competition from Google, Yahoo, Craiglist and so on, including straight user-generated plays, "localized" data aggregation services or even automated city guides and business listings solutions. In a world where the content becomes more specialized and fragmented online, it may actually be more difficult for small media to keep up, because the monopolists grab larger portions of the shrinking traditional revenue pie while international corporate competitors gobble up revenue that might have supported your news operation because of its incidental interest to your audience. In that case, you don't have to cry for the small operator -- you just have to realize that rule changes by the FCC or the absence of a principle like Net Neutrality can actually limit consumer choices if they're decided too much in the favor of larger, traditional media companies with their ability to lobby the Federal government for favorable results.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-12-21T15:59:42-06:00
ID
116104
Comment

... and lots of TV employees have to start paying The Man for crappy coffee.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-12-21T16:16:20-06:00
ID
116105
Comment

i'm frankly unconcerned with making sure large media outlets have the ability to expand at will. There is greater societal benefit to keeping media segmented. i like news from different sources to actually have different dynamics and editorial objectives. It helps me and my community to be more broadly informed.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2007-12-22T02:32:22-06:00
ID
116106
Comment

If a Jackson TV station and the Ledger were both owned by the same company, they could use it to get someone like Frank Melton elected mayor. No wait, they did that without the communists' approach to business. We're screwed.

Author
HaHa
Date
2007-12-27T11:01:34-06:00
ID
116107
Comment

The "communists' approach"? Wouldn't that have something to do with the government buying up the newspapers and TV stations? Confused.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-12-27T11:23:41-06:00

Thanks to all our new JFP VIPs!

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus