FCC to OK media mergers to promote diversity!


MiniMediaGuy interviews Bizarro Superman

Since 1975 the Federal Communications Commission has prevented newspapers from buying television and radio stations in their cities. Today the three republican appointees on this five-person commission will overrule the two democratic appointees and lift this so-called cross ownership ban, allowing newspapers to buy TV stations and vice-versa. Of course the official FCC agenda uses different words: see “Promoting Diversification of Ownership in Broadcast Services.” Special telecom analyst Bizarro Superman helps MiniMediaGuy understand this puzzling policy.

MiniMediaGuy: The lifting of the cross-ownership ban is expected to allow newspaper chains to buy TV stations. Critics say this will lead to further media concentration. So where’s the diversity?

Bizarro Superman: TV good.

MMG: Yes, but that begs the question . . .

BS: Newspapers good.

MMG: Yes, I quite agree and I’ve blogged that old media firms say that lifting the ban will allow them to build stronger local outlets through mergers to combat Internet and Web 2.0 media. But how does lifting the ban promote diversity?

BS: Internet good.

MMG: And there you have it, folks, the logic behind “Promoting Diversification of Ownership in Broadcast Services,” from noted telecom analyst Bizarro Superman. Any closing thoughts, Bizarro?

BS: MiniMediaGuy good.