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Media Diversity Isn't Served by Higher Ownership Caps

June 04, 2003

Re "FCC Relaxes Limits on Media Ownership," June 3:

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell said he believed that the FCC actions would advance the goals of "diversity and localism."

How is permitting companies to buy more television stations and own a newspaper and a broadcast outlet in the same city going to achieve his stated goal?

This is classic Bush administration propaganda. Say it often enough and the people will believe anything. Unfortunately it works (witness the belief by many Americans that the 9/11 hijackers were from Iraq). Once again, at the hands of the Republicans, big business wins and the average American loses.

Erik Schmitt



Nick Gillespie's June 1 commentary regarding FCC relaxation of media ownership rules contains spurious claims of diversity in our current media landscape. He states that media ownership has stayed roughly flat in percentage terms since 1986. Really?

The Los Angeles market in 1996 had seven major television stations broadcasting their own take on the news (KCBS, KNBC, KTLA, KABC, KCAL, KTTV and KCOP). Today we have five (KCBS and KCAL are owned by Viacom, KTTV and KCOP by Fox). That's less diversity, not more.

Claiming cable television presents "more media options" is laughable. Defense behemoth General Electric owns KNBC, MSNBC and CNBC. Fox owns KTTV, KCOP and Fox News. AOL Time Warner owns CNN. Yes, cable offers viewers "more," but it's more of the same, and the FCC proposal will only make the situation worse. Do we really want to get our news from defense contractors and "fair and balanced" Fox?

Christopher Dye

Sherman Oaks


Be prepared for more industry consolidation as the current oligopoly increases its ownership. More choices do not mean more diversity, just more opportunities for the oligopoly.

Rupert Murdoch owns many stations -- find one that is critical of conservatives. Gillespie probably believes Fox News is fair and balanced.

Norwood Price


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