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Old 01-05-2002, 12:05 PM   #1
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concentration of media ownership

one of the biggest growing concerns amongst journalists around the world is the concentration of media ownership.

i have studied the extent to which this concentration is true and how much it affects citizens.

i have my own thoughts and opinions on how this affects a democracy, but i often hear little more than silence from american's on the issue.

i was wondering if anyone here has any thoughts on the concentration of media, not just within america but around the world?

a good explanation of global media companies and the outlets which they control is available here.

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Old 01-05-2002, 12:34 PM   #2
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I think that the quality of journalism in the US has more to do with logistical constraints (time and money) than with corporate censorship, but that's just my opinion.
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Old 01-06-2002, 01:54 AM   #3
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Seeing is that I work for one of the "beasts" this is a topic close to my heart. I don't think people realize how this touches their lives. And it's not only in the journalistic side of the business. I love explaining to people why a local newscasts will play a report from VH-1 once a week (the station is owned by CBS/Viacom which owns VH-1). It can be scary, especially if you don't know about it.

Follow the relationships.....

[This message has been edited by zonelistener (edited 01-05-2002).]
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Old 01-06-2002, 03:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer:
I think that the quality of journalism in the US has more to do with logistical constraints (time and money) than with corporate censorship, but that's just my opinion.
Of course you could argue that the logistics are a practical expression of, perhaps not 'censorship', but corporate priorities. Like the budget a media organisation might be inclined to allocate to its foreign news bureaus, for example.


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Old 01-07-2002, 09:41 AM   #5
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This could be a really interesting topic. Isn't anybody interested?
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Old 01-07-2002, 10:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kieran McConville:
This could be a really interesting topic. Isn't anybody interested?
Agreed KM.....we tried.
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Old 01-07-2002, 04:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kieran McConville:
This could be a really interesting topic. Isn't anybody interested?
I'm interested. I just don't know much about it and I hate to jump in when I can't speak with at least a little knowledge on the subject at hand. lol.
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Old 01-07-2002, 05:20 PM   #8
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Jumpstart and education:

I'll explain on AOL Time Warner first -
Warner Music Group
Warner Bros. studios
the WB Network
Turner (CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, etc.)
Turner Sports (Braves, Hawks, Thrashers)
Time Warner Cable
HBO
Time Magazine Group
New Line Cinema
America Online

So....

When you see a Harry Potter AOL cd offering 1000 free minutes, you shouldn't be suprised.

When you see an AOL pop-up window promoting Entertainment Weekly promoting Ocean's 11, you shouldn't be suprised.

If you see three AOL commercials every hour on Time Warner Cable, you shouldn't be suprised.

Anyone one to take on Viacom/CBS or ABC/Disney?
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Old 01-07-2002, 06:22 PM   #9
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You guys are right it is an interesting topic as well as cause for concern.

The biggest issues revolving around the topic, imo, are the synergistic cross-promotions that occur such as what zonelistener pointed out: a multinational acquires various media holdings(broadcast networks, cable channels, film houses, distribution channels, theater chains, magazines, publishing houses, video rental outlets, record comps, and so on and so forth).

The second biggest concern is the influence and filtration, or lack thereof, that may occur as a result of the sheer amount of control possessed by these companies. This effect has been seen in Canada to a geat extent. The formerly informative and reliable Global Televiosion Network, providing good local news to various areas, has become little more than an advertisement for CanWest Global's main web portal, www.canada.com , and their recently acquired national news daily(one of Canada's 2) the National Post, www.nationalpost.com .
When an opinion is expressed it is almost always of a conservative nature.
This same story is replicated in the Sun Media empire, Thomson News Corp, and Bell Globemedia and perhaps (my employer) Rogers Communications.

Right there, with just four-five companies are the primary sources, are the mainstream media for Canadians-this in no way a documented number but we calculated that 75% of 'media' is consumed in Canada from the first four companies(this was based on things like daily circulation, viewership, attendance).

This is why the TW-AOL deal was brilliant, within TW is a traditional distribution network as well as a whole lot of movies, magazines, books, music and 'news'. AOL brought to the table a tremendously large distribution network with great possibilities for growth as well as some very diverse content offerings. The deal married content and distribution channels.

The effect of these large companies is far reaching as well. The National Post, the daily news anchor of the aforementioned CanWest Global network, sponsors a Chair of Journalism at the School of Journalism and Communications of which I am a student. They distribute free papers throughout the school.
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Old 01-07-2002, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by zonelistener:
Anyone one to take on Viacom/CBS or ABC/Disney?
I'll do a Canadian one which is more media rather than content based:
Bell Globemedia
Bell Telephone(residential and biz)
Bell Mobility
Bell Sympatico(internet access with both lo & hi speed services as well as a virtual monopoly on DSL and future xDSL services)
ExpressVu DB Satellite Network(much like DirecTV)
Canadian Television(nations biggest non-publicly funded TV network)
The Sports Network(biggest and oldest cable sports network in Canada)
uncountable number of digital specialty channels backed by CTV and TSN including RaptorsTV, NHL Network, various ESPN holdings(who own a part of TSN)
The Globe and Mail(Canada's oldest and most established national daily)

So you get 'high speed' DSL internet savings if you have Bell long distance(you have no choice but Bell for home or business local access)
You are then encouraged to use www.sympatico.ca as your portal and start page
You recieve mailings on Bell Mobility offerings on cell phones, Expressvu programming with preferential treatment given to Bell Globemedia holdings, and most news content shown on CTV, it's various cable offshoots, and sympatico is provided by or shared with the globe and mail. It is pure homogenization of information.
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Old 01-08-2002, 03:10 AM   #11
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yeah, Kobayashi, ever heard about Clear Channel Communications?
Well anyway the Industry is facing high losses in profits... they forgot to jump the internet train... too many A&R without fantasy... too many rip off producers...
the Industry is going to hell.
They should definitely hire some think tankers, but who cares?
Hope everyone is feeling well with that.
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Old 01-08-2002, 09:37 AM   #12
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Clear Channel Seeks Direct Connection to Record Labels
Media: Its plan to cut ad, research deals with the companies reflects a shift in power. Critics say it's an attempt to sidestep payola laws
By CHUCK PHILIPS, Times Staff Writer

Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest radio broadcaster, wants a share of the tens of millions of dollars in record company promotional funds that go to independent promoters--and sometimes smack of payola.

The move is sending a shudder through the major labels, which see legal and ethical problems with paying money directly to broadcasters to help get their artists on the air.

The initiative, which the company expects to roll out around May, reflects a fundamental shift of power in the record business. In the past, powerful record labels were accused of bribing deejays operating at small, independent radio stations to influence what songs got airplay.

Industry mergers have moved the balance of power to radio groups, which today have the clout to launch a song simultaneously in scores of markets across the country--or consign it to oblivion.

Clear Channel, which controls 1,200 radio stations and owns the world's biggest concert promoter, hopes to generate more than $20 million annually by selling chainwide advertising packages, research and a variety of airplay data to labels whose songs are played on its stations.

Clear Channel plans to sell ads to labels that would air immediately after the station plays the latest song by one of their artists. The brief ad would identify the artist who performed the preceding song, a practice that many stations have dropped.

Clear Channel said it would sell such an ad only if programmers had already determined the song was a hit. Sources say the company is pitching ads at $1,000 a pop that would run on 60-some stations.

Critics contend that the broadcast giant is using its newfound leverage as the nation's largest chain to extract deals from record labels that appear to sidestep payola laws.

. . .Radio industry sources say there is another reason: Record companies could lose the power they already have to influence airplay at Clear Channel stations under the current system with independent agents.

And a direct play-for-pay arrangement between record company and radio broadcaster could be illegal. . .

Record labels have long skirted payola laws by shelling out millions of dollars each year to independent consultants. . . Independent promoters, who function as a buffer between labels and radio personnel, typically do not pay cash for airplay of specific songs but circumvent payola law by providing stations with annual promotion budgets.

Last fall, Clear Channel issued an internal edict barring programmers at its stations from renewing any contracts with independent promoters. As the company began kicking around ideas for its music initiative, Clear Channel initially considered installing an in-house promotion czar who would act as the radio giant's exclusive liaison with the music industry, Michaels said.

In recent weeks, however, Michaels said the company has backed away from running its own record promotion arm and is now contemplating cutting an exclusive promotion pact with a third party. Michaels confirmed that at least two independent promoters have put in bids that could add more than $20 million to its bottom line.

The bet in the industry is that Clear Channel will ultimately cut an exclusive pact with Cincinnati-based Tri-State Promotions, which is run by Michaels' longtime friends Bill Skull and Lenny Lyons. . .

. . .Michaels said the company's think tank has come up with a variety of revenue-generating ideas, including selling research to labels based on reaction to records played on its stations. Clear Channel currently owns several research firms that monitor the response of listeners and program directors to new songs in most major Top 40, urban and adult contemporary radio markets across the nation. The company hopes eventually to charge labels for access to that information. . .

. . .Michaels acknowledged that the think tank has even considered selling late-night commercial time directly to labels for the purpose of promoting new songs.

"The argument would go like this: Would you rather hear a couple used-car commercials and carpet store ads in a row or a song that the record companies believe has hit potential?" Michaels said. "If we do it, of course we would run all the appropriate announcements required by law so that everyone would realize we got paid to play the record.". . .


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Old 01-08-2002, 10:26 AM   #13
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Kobayashi -

We are in the same business (your internship and my job)!

Clear Channel scares me.
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Old 01-08-2002, 11:48 AM   #14
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that's a fascinating article hiphop. it seems that clear channel is correctly positioning themselves for long term success. however i personally don't see that great a future in broadcast radio. are digital subscription channels not progressing as fast as they are supposed to be?


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Old 01-08-2002, 11:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by zonelistener:
Kobayashi -

We are in the same business (your internship and my job)!

Clear Channel scares me.
oh it's not an internship. unfortunately my school, which is hailed as one of the premier communications schools in the country, has NO internship or co op program for it's communications students.
i had to get the job myself.
which one of the 'beasts'(hehehehe) are you with zonelistener?

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