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Television Businesses Communications Government The Almighty Buck News

FCC To Loosen TV, Newspaper Ownership Rules (reuters.com) 86

The FCC is planning to vote on rolling back landmark media ownership regulations that prohibit owning a television station and newspaper in the same market and making it easier to acquire additional TV or radio stations. Reuters reports: If approved at the FCC's November meeting, the move would be a win for newspapers and broadcasters that have pushed for the change for decades, but was criticized by Democrats who said it could usher in a new era of media consolidation. The FCC in 1975 banned cross-ownership of a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market, unless it granted a waiver, to ensure a diversity of opinions. The rule was made before the explosion of internet and cable news and Republican President Donald Trump and Pai have vowed to reduce government regulation.

"We must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business," Pai told a congressional panel, noting that many newspapers have closed and many radio and TV stations are struggling. Pai moved earlier this year to make it easier for some companies to own a larger number of local stations. Pai said the marketplace no longer justifies the rules, citing Facebook and Alphabet's dominance of internet advertising. "Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever. And just two internet companies claim 100 percent of recent online advertising growth; indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry," Pai said.

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FCC To Loosen TV, Newspaper Ownership Rules

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  • Win? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:10PM (#55433575) Homepage Journal

    >The move would be a win for newspapers and broadcasters that have pushed for the change for decades,

    No, the product will become even more shit and the viewership will continue to decline, undermining their investments in buying up all the local players.

    • Re:Win? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:53PM (#55433779)

      Yes, but it will probably become more profitable because now operating costs will come down even further. All of the local on-air staff, gone. Local staff that manage programming and other content decisions, almost all gone if not all gone. Engineering staff, no longer need to staff enough to work the studios as there are no studios, probably half or more gone, just limited to staff to maintain a bit of local equipment. Even that might be reduced since it may be possible to outsource that, and multiple stations could end up with the same maintenance partners.

      What's funny is that journalism schools already annually graduate more students with journalism or communications degrees than there are jobs in the whole profession. Now that all of your local on-air talent is essentially gone, in my market that could be 50 people, and while my market is a bit larger than most I could reasonably expect any city over 100,000 people to to have at least 25 on-air, with more than 300 metro areas over 100,000, that's 7500 on-air staff losing jobs, plus all of the rest of the support staff.

      Frankly it's dangerous for so few people to own all of the press. We're already into an era of Yellow Journalism, and it's only going to get much worse and to polarize people far more. Honestly it could lead to outright civil war when those people that control the media push peoples' buttons in order to drive ratings.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      FCC approves the big brother network, the only network to be allowed access to the internet. Big brother watching out for you, ignorance is strength, truth is fake news and voting is stupid, only nazis vote.

    • "No, the product will become even more shit and the viewership will continue to decline"

      And the news business will lose customers and influence, and diminish.

      As it deserves. If the news business wants to expand its influence and profitability, the competition out there is either unbiased or 'honest' (as in stating up front the bias held), and the mainstream news businesses either reestablish credibility or suffer.

      I'm not hopeful, since bias and political activism in the news business is both fundamental -

      • competition out there is either unbiased or 'honest' (as in stating up front the bias held)

        Bringing you the most liberal news reporting in the nation! This... is CNN!

        Real conservative reporting! Fox News is on the scene!

  • Pai Guy (Score:5, Funny)

    by labnet ( 457441 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:11PM (#55433583)

    Hah, what did you Amercians do to deserve Pai.
    He's not even trying to hide being bought by big money.
    He should just setup a bidding platform to buy legislation.

    • Re:Pai Guy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:16PM (#55433609)

      Bidding would imply only one winner, so only one payment.

      Lobbying lets politicians take money from everyone.

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Now he's building up his brand name so he'll be able to pull in big bucks when he leave government. It is important to have a goal in life. The fact that involves screwing America to get there is just part and parcel of the alleged Administration.

  • With fewer companies to coordinate with, it would be much easier to promote a consistent agenda.

  • the WaPo Channel. the SF Examiner Morning Zoo.
  • In their next move, billed as a effort to recoup massive loss on infrastructure, the FCC will negotiate sale of the entirety of independent network broadcast corporations to a state-owned Russian company.

  • Here's why: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:25PM (#55433651) Journal

    The whole reason for loosening these rules, and the rules on local ownership, is to pave the way for the far-right Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy even more TV stations across the country. Instead of local news, you will only get stories that reflect the Sinclair agenda.

    More centralized control over local media.

    https://www.salon.com/2017/10/... [salon.com]

    • by AaronW ( 33736 )

      Yes, because we need more of this...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by clonehappy ( 655530 )

      The Sinclair Broadcast Group doesn't own newspapers, you fuckwit.

      FYI: Citing Salon is just as bad as citing Infowars or Breitbart, and doesn't help your credibility.

  • I hate to say it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:28PM (#55433671) Journal
    There was a time when regional television and newspapers had a large say in shaping the belief set(s) of average Americans, yet now, it seems like that ship has sailed.

    People under 50 get their news on the cellphone, and whether that's the Facebook or Twitter or updates, the share of news influenced by old school local news & dead tree papers is bordering on insignificant.

    Pai is right, not because of his fealty to the industry, but because the consolidation doesn't impact a significant monopoly of the news market.

    • by PoopJuggler ( 688445 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @07:40PM (#55433723)
      Except he wouldn't be doing this if he wasn't being paid to. So somebody has an agenda at play, and part of it is media control for mass mind rape.
      • Not necessarily. He might be a genuine idealist, who truly believes in the infallibility of the market and that all government control is tyranny.

    • People under 50 get their news on the cellphone, and whether that's the Facebook or Twitter or updates, the share of news influenced by old school local news & dead tree papers is bordering on insignificant.

      People over 50 as well. I do not know anyone who reads an actual "paper" anymore.

      • People over 50 as well. I do not know anyone who reads an actual "paper" anymore.

        Not daily, but I pick up and read the local paper for three reasons:

        The website doesn't include every bit of the physical paper, to see if I know anyone in the obits or criminal/court section, and last, but not least, because the little bitch in charge of killing off the Mickey(s) is careless despite the relative McMansion size of her litter box.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      What's really fucked up is that most people see nothing wrong with that. I read all of the local news I can find daily, and 95% of people I talk to have no idea about 95% of important stuff going on in their local communities.

      Are most people just hopelessly addicted, or are people just that dumb? Maybe they're just that lazy? I don't get it. It's like being in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
      • Have you noticed that reading diverse news hurts? Sometimes your long-established viewpoints are wrong, and have to change, and it's physically painful?

        That's why.

        People don't want to be informed; they want reinforcement. They haven't learned to swallow the embarrassment of their failure and enjoy the burning sensation of their mind crying out against a violation of all it's held holy in its own little world, then finally rushing through the sensation of discovery of all kinds of new internal consisten

    • "People under 50 get their news on the cellphone"

      So instead of cheap paper, television, or radio, the youth are using Internet on whatever device suits them.

      Same news. Same sources. Same problems. The nail cares not how big the hammer is, or if it's a rock, or your neighbor's dog's head. It's still getting pounded.

    • The problem is that people over 50 vote in droves. People under 50 can't be inconvenienced with voting.
  • This is the end of our Republic.
  • Another day, another chip out of the rules and regulations that make us civil and decent to each other.

    Nothing good can come of this, which is the hallmark the Trump administration: Just how badly can we fuck this country up in 4 years?

    • Another day, another chip out of the rules and regulations that make us civil and decent to each other.

      ORLY?

      Seems to me that, before the regulation was put into place there was an era of competition, and after it there has been nothing but nearly monolithic consolidation.

      Seems to me that, if the intent was actually to produce news competition or sweep back a tide of anticompetitive collusion and consolidation, it had either failed miserably or (like the "fairness doctrine") worked to the detriment of what i

  • Step 1: further consolidation of geographically-biased opinion news.

    Step 2: further cluster fuck of opinions (you think California being completely out of step with the country is something, wait until every state votes by 75%-25% margin).

    Step 3: further financial incentives to suppress opposing view points (left or right -- it doesn't matter -- as long as they oppose the cluster fuck in a particular geo market)

    Step 4: complete disregard for whether it is right or wrong to suppress unpopular speech. No nat

    • Step 1: further consolidation of geographically-biased opinion news.
      Step 2: further cluster fuck of opinions (you think California being completely out of step with the country is something, wait until every state votes by 75%-25% margin).

      Doesn't the last election show you that the mainstream media, which was solidly backing Clinton, is utterly impotent to sway elections in the way you describe?

      • Doesn't the last election show you that the mainstream media, which was solidly backing Clinton, is utterly impotent to sway elections in the way you describe?

        How do you figure? It was precisely in the last elections that you had very polarized votes by geographic areas. California is just one striking example of that. People who make their living being "normal" don't want to voice opinions which in their geographic areas are considered "crazy". So I don't know how much influence social media has on the news. Most people on social media communicate with people they already know in real life.

  • Which morons are in the FCC? Those rules need to be stricter and limit how many stations one owner is allowed to have nationwide.
  • Well ... guess who profits from this, not himself but his 'friends' will.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Sinclair Group is celebrating it's successful lobbying of Pai and support of Trump today.

    They now can proceed with their master plan to buy up as much of the Radio, TV, and Newspaper industry as they can (and with the billionaire Smith family behind them they can buy up a LOT.)

    Their stated plan is to create a vertically integrated media empire to challenge FOX News from the far-right and to indoctrinate America in the Smith family's fundamentalist Neo-Fascist/Christian Dominionist viewpoint with onerou

  • "We must stop the federal government from intervening in the MONOPOLY business," Pai told a congressional panel. I bet he also tried to gas the jedi sent to negotiate with him.
  • good decision make all thing Gesture Lock Screen [uniqsofts.com]
  • Yay, AShit Pie will squeeze out another turd of a ruling.

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