Fighting Media Consolidation

Who owns the media has a huge impact on the stories that get covered in our communities.

Today absentee corporations own more and more of our media. Focused only on the bottom line, they are cutting journalists, gutting newsrooms and replacing meaningful debate with celebrity gossip and junk news. And many of these corporations are dodging the Federal Communications Commission’s ownership rules to snap up more outlets and create media monopolies in markets throughout the country.

The more independent outlets a community has, the more different viewpoints will be presented on the air. But what happens when there’s no one left to compete? When one company owns everything in your town, it can cut staff and not worry about getting scooped by a competitor. The fewer reporters there are on the streets, the less journalism there is on the news. The fewer DJs there are at your local radio station, the more automated computers and pre-programmed playlists take over.

The FCC is supposed to preserve a competitive media landscape and ensure that broadcasters are good stewards of the public airwaves. The agency sets limits on how much of your local media one company can own. These limits are supposed to encourage stations to compete with one another to provide quality journalism. But powerful media companies have the FCC's ear, and over the years it has become easier for these companies to snatch up more of our local airwaves.

Our ownership chart reveals exactly who owns what. It’s time to change what’s wrong with this picture. We need the FCC to serve communities, not corporations.

Blog Posts

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Press Releases

  • Comcast-Time Warner Cable: The Deal Is Dead

    April 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON -- Comcast abandoned its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable on Friday morning. The move followed media reports of considerable skepticism about the benefits of the merger by staff at the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, the two agencies charged with reviewing the deal.

    Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

  • FCC Poised to Move Against Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

    April 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON -- According to reports in the Wall Street Journal and Politico, Federal Communications Commission staff may be prepared to recommend that Comcast’s proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable be designated for a hearing. Such a move would put the merger request in the hands of an administrative law judge, who would conduct a thorough inquiry into the public-interest benefits of the proposed merger, if any.

  • Free Press Builds on Mountain of Evidence Against Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

    December 23, 2014

    WASHINGTON -- In a filing to the Federal Communications Commission today, Free Press defended its petition to deny the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, building on the mountain of evidence already amassed against the proposed $45 billion merger. If approved, the merger would result in a communications colossus that would dominate high-speed telecommunications services in more than 60 percent of the country.

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Resources

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News from Around the Web

  • How an Army of Internet Activists Challenged Big Cable and Won Again

    The Guardian
    April 27, 2015

    Not long ago, it would have been unthinkable for a coalition of discontented citizens to challenge the business decisions of multinational company with a market cap of nearly $150bn and a boss who plays golf with the president. Last week it happened, and the grassroots guys won. Again.

  • Comcast Says It's Over: It Won't Try to Merge With Time Warner Cable

    CNN
    April 27, 2015

    It's over. Comcast formally withdrew from its pending $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable on Friday morning -- after the companies failed to convince regulators the deal would be good for consumers.

  • Comcast's Massive Lobbying Blitz Falls Short

    The Hill
    April 27, 2015

    To muscle through a massive, $45 billion merger of the nation’s two largest cable companies, Comcast and Time Warner Cable hired an army of lobbyists and flexed an industry muscle practically unmatched in Washington.

    In the end, the effort came up short.

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  • Covert Consolidation

    When you turn on the nightly news, you expect to find competing viewpoints and different perspectives from one station to the next. But in communities across the country, stations that were once fierce competitors have cut staff and merged their newsrooms, in many cases airing the same content on multiple stations in the same market. You can try to change the channel, but all you'll see is the exact same newscast.

  • Rupert Murdoch Scandal

    There are many reasons the scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has riveted public attention around the world. It's a story that features all of the classic elements: crimes, betrayal, abuse of power and even a cover-up.

  • Money, Media and Elections

    The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision launched a new era of big-money politics. The wealthiest 1 percent now has even more power to pick and choose our nation’s leaders. And they’re spending the bulk of this money on televised political ads designed to mislead voters. (Click here to see Free Press' infographic depicting this dysfunctional dynamic.)

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good