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Politics and Economy:
Media Consolidation
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Local Media Ownership

NOW has been reporting on media consolidation for nearly two years — and there is more to report almost daily. On October 8, 2003, another major media merger was announced. NBC said it would purchase the entertainment arm of Vivendi Universal for $3.8 billion. Meanwhile, the media ownership rule changes put in place by the FCC in June are facing challenges from both the Senate and the federal court system. But, as Bill Moyers reports in his October 10, 2003 journal, the rule changes are also receiving some powerful political support in the House of Representatives. Find out who owns what among "Big Six" the of American media below. And, do some investigation of your own media environment — find out who owns the radio, TV and newspapers in your town.



Did you know that some of the same people responsible for your favorite (and least favorite) TV shows make your movies, CDs, books and might own your baseball team? Click here for just a partial listing of assets.

Each year THE NATION magazine makes a graphic representation of the holding of the largest media companies. The COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW also tracks a more extensive list. You can also find out about today's climate in media ownership by visiting the Web sites of the six largest players.


Find out who owns the media in your area by using The Center for Public Integrity's database "Well Connected." For example, if you live in Bar Harbor, Maine, Clear Channel has a 37.5% share of the radio dial; Cumulus Media, 18.75%; educational stations account for 12.5%, and independent/other stations have a 31.25% share.


There are many groups weighing in on all sides of the media ownership issue. You can find out more about their arguments by visiting our Resources and Reading section. Although a decision has now been rendered by the FCC the Congressional and judicial action related to the new rules ensure the discussion is not yet over.

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