Join 3,411 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


One nation, under Clear Channel....
January 31, 2003 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Should FCC allow big media to get bigger? The FCC will soon rule on whether media megaboxes should be allowed to dominate a given market's radio, television, and print media simultaneously. They have already loosened restrictions on radio and the proliferation of Clear Channel has led to a 30% reduction in radio station ownership and, some believe, to the homogenization of popular music. Should the FCC eliminate the regulations preventing mega-media from monopolizing television and print media?
posted by answergrape (28 comments total)

 
NO!
posted by quonsar at 11:41 AM on January 31, 2003


Should the FCC eliminate the regulations preventing mega-media from monopolizing television and print media?

What quonsar said! X 1000

Bring back the Fairness Doctrine while we're at it.
posted by nofundy at 11:45 AM on January 31, 2003


I wholeheartedly concur!!
posted by byort at 11:48 AM on January 31, 2003


What nofundy said Xinfinity and they should break the monopolies NOW!
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 12:08 PM on January 31, 2003


ObLink: ClearChannelSucks.org.
posted by waldo at 12:11 PM on January 31, 2003


Only regulations can create monopolies. Dominating market positions ain't monopolies, as long as competitors are legally allowed to try to establish themselves.
posted by dagny at 12:16 PM on January 31, 2003


I'm very liberal verging on libertarian, but even I can't abide by this. The difference between radio and conventional markets is that the airwaves themselves are actually public property, on loan to the broadcasters.

We should allow Clear Channel and others like them to use our airwaves only so long as they provide us with quality programming.

Just realized my comment will go under one from someone named dagny....I'll just hope that dagny is her real name and she wasn't inspired by a certain novel, otherwise I'm really in for it.
posted by charlesv at 12:26 PM on January 31, 2003


Senators Feingold, Miller, (and maybe McCain) co-sponsor bill on Competition In Radio.

and

Feingold speaks to the Senate Commerce Committee
posted by pitchblende at 12:28 PM on January 31, 2003


Dominating market positions ain't monopolies, as long as competitors are legally allowed to try to establish themselves.

But in industries where the price to play is very large, such as the major media outlets, once a few big boys are allowed to muscle themselves in sufficiently, it won't be a matter of whether independant media providers are allowed to compete - it's a question of whether they'll be able to at all.
posted by Pinwheel at 12:29 PM on January 31, 2003


Why do people watch TV? How can so many people's limbo bar be set so incredibly high? There is NOTHING on TV. Read a fucking book.
posted by Satapher at 12:43 PM on January 31, 2003


"Read a fucking book."
same damn problems there.
posted by Blake at 1:00 PM on January 31, 2003


i dont know about you guys, but if clear channel owned my local newspaper, i would vomit.

seriously, the defense that the FCC is going to take, after allowing this sort of thing to happen is 'hey look at the web, hey look at satellite TV and satellite radio' but all that deregulation isn't helping anybody. some companies can't even figure out how to make a profit with their gargantuan marketshare
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 1:17 PM on January 31, 2003


"Only regulations can create monopolies. Dominating market positions ain't monopolies, as long as competitors are legally allowed to try to establish themselves."

My recollection from Econ 101 (many years ago) is that in order for competition to work, there need to be no barriers for other competitors to enter the market. In this case, there are several barriers, 1) The entry cost is high (like Pinwheel said) and 2) There are a limited number of frequencies in any market. We can get the best competition by severely limiting the number of outlets that can be owned by one entity.
posted by teo at 1:24 PM on January 31, 2003


My answer to the question: SURE............that is, if you want to encourage the development of the American version of the 21st century totalitarian state. We're verging pretty close already.

Why not give it a further shove in that direction, and just get this miserable waiting over with? Then I could just abandon what tiny little flame of hope I still nuture and resign myself to the triumph of evil!

sigh....just another Frodo, one of millions, all trudging through the wasteland amidst the deepening gloom, towards the fiery mountain.....*trudge, trudge trudge*
posted by troutfishing at 1:27 PM on January 31, 2003


Read a fucking book

You mean like these?

All media had good stuff and all media has trash. There are good things on television, if you're willing to look for it and not dismiss it all out-of-hand just so you can feel a little smug.
posted by tolkhan at 1:28 PM on January 31, 2003


Here's Powell's side of the story in The Economist.
posted by gyc at 1:34 PM on January 31, 2003


a radio is supposed to play music?

i think mine's broken. all it does is play ads and avril lavigne and creed.
posted by bhayes82 at 1:40 PM on January 31, 2003


I admit that I posted this, in part, because I was genuinely interested in commentary. I'm studying the loss of "voice" in popular media and the primary culprit is convergence of all major forms of media, including the web. Blogs like this one are just about my only hope of keeping any "voice in the darkness" in the face of Time Warner, Tribune Media, and Clear Channel. Long live the Blogs!
posted by answergrape at 1:45 PM on January 31, 2003


You can go into a local market, buy a TV station, a radio station, all the billboards, the cable system, a local ISP and a major community web site. No government regs will get in your way. But if you happen to own the local paper, you can't do this. It's called the cross-ownership rule, it makes no sense, and it should go away. The idea that this rule somehow preserves a multiplicity of viewpoints holds no water. The internet has been invented. A multiplicity of viewpoints is available to you, here and here and here and here, among many other places. Anyone with a laptop and a kitchen table can be a major media outlet.
posted by beagle at 2:09 PM on January 31, 2003


word. what beagle said.
posted by sodalinda at 2:18 PM on January 31, 2003


beagle -

word, fo sho'. but the problem is that not only do you need internet access (something not everyone has), you also need to know where to find the "real" news. wouldn't you say close to half of the internet-using americans think "MSN.com" (example) is a great newssite, and would trust anything MSN says? the people trust the same sources as they do in print and radio -- the big names.

the scary part is that these people -- internet-savvy or not, the ones that trust a single news source -- actually VOTE! they don't make the connections... "Multiple viewpoints? Well TIME said this, and CNN says the same, and even AOL said the same thing, so it must be true!"

bottom line: you shouldn't have to go to the internet to find different viewpoints.
posted by bhayes82 at 3:24 PM on January 31, 2003


corporate radio does suck. i rarely listen to the radio anymore, but on a recent roadtrip out west i got to hear just how bad it was. it is amazing to hear the same station ideas and "the edge" or "kiss" stations with the same voiceover tags and same playlists.

if i had a longer commute i'd definitely opt for the satellite radio thingy.
posted by birdherder at 5:17 PM on January 31, 2003


The internet has been invented.

...and so we should abandon all other forms of information and entertainment.

Yeah, right.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:41 PM on January 31, 2003


charlesv: The difference between radio and conventional markets is that the airwaves themselves are actually public property, on loan to the broadcasters. We should allow Clear Channel and others like them to use our airwaves only so long as they provide us with quality programming.

First of all, WHY are the "airwaves themselves" actually public property? They shouldn't be. Second, when you talk about "quality programming," well...it really begs the question: WHAT is "quality?" Some people think that MTV is "quality." Others maintain that PBS is "quality." Still others would probably say that porn qualifies as "quality."

Slippery slope. The only solution: free market. Duh. And the more freedom (ie, less government and regulation), the better.
posted by davidmsc at 9:34 PM on January 31, 2003


WHY are the "airwaves themselves" actually public property? They shouldn't be.

Oh, but why stop there? The air itself shouldn't be public property either. Let's let corporations buy up the rights to that too. Can't pay? Can't breathe! Anything else would be communism.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:51 PM on January 31, 2003


the scary part is that these people -- internet-savvy or not, the ones that trust a single news source -- actually VOTE! they don't make the connections... "Multiple viewpoints? Well TIME said this, and CNN says the same, and even AOL said the same thing, so it must be true!"

News Alert: Stupid People Exist.

If we create laws to protect the truly dumb from their own inability to sift through media, the rest of us get shafted in the long run. I'm not necessarily in favor of these super-lax regulations, but the government getting involved in the content of media is equally repugnant (fairness doctrine? please.)

I do think, however, that all the spectrum for broadcast tv/radio should be re-auctioned at its true market value in exchange for the relaxed climate since the telecom act was signed into law.
posted by owillis at 1:45 AM on February 1, 2003


There are good things on television, if you're willing to look for it and not dismiss it all out-of-hand just so you can feel a little smug.

Hear hear, tolkhan. Agreed -- and I'm not just saying that because I work in teevee. Anyone see the PBS doc "The Murder of Emmet Till"? Powerful stuff.
posted by Vidiot at 6:55 AM on February 1, 2003


I suspect Michael Powell's philosophy comes from the Cato Institute, that is more and more insistent that free-market monopolies are a *good* thing; that all the bad things attributed to them will be corrected by the free market; and that a good, laissez-faire government should allow "natural" monopolies to take place.
They rationalize everything bad away, like collusion, price fixing, and every other form of exploitation.
posted by kablam at 8:35 AM on February 1, 2003


« Older Portland Thai Restaurants Discovers Indentured Ser...  |  Shawn Fanning - Patron Saint o... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments