UPDATE: FCC Continues to Push Media Consolidation - Act Now!

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin seems dead set on pushing through a wildly unpopular media consolidation policy that would allow media moguls to gobble up more local news, radio, and newspaper outlets. The American people aren't happy about it, and neither are many leading politicians.

How, you ask, is this directly related to the writer's strike against the giant media conglomerates? This policy would consolidate more power in the hands of few. There is already too much media consolidation, too much vertical integration, and too much abuse of power by the few who own these companies: Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, New Corp., GE, Sony...

To read posts and conversations from Sen. Kerry and Rep. Louise Slaughter regarding their disappointment with Martin's actions, check out:

And to sign a petition urging your Senators and Representatives to ask Congress to stop media consolidation,
click here.


Kandyd said...

The issue of media consolidation is, I believe, the most powerful weapon the WGA and related guilds can use against the AMPTP. However, although this blog and most progressive political blogs dedicate much-needed words to the issue, there doesn't seem to be a specific set of target goals that people can coalesce around. And why does everyone talk about stopping media consolidation, when the overarching goal should clearly be rolling back media consolidation?

It seems to me that someone in the ranks of WGA members should be tasked with researching a set of attainable rollback goals (this whole issue really cropped up 20 years ago; is it that hard to imagine a rollback?), and then have each of the Democratic presidential candidates commit to supporting the platform.

The SEIU brilliantly paved the way by saying it would only support candidates who would stand behind a certain set of health care proposals. All the major Democratic candidates responded positively. And though there are many more SEIU members than WGA/DGA/SAG/IA members, there is a LOT of Democratic money in play.

Who's going to lead the charge and make consolidation rollback a household term, and a union goal?

Alan Elliott said...

right on the nose.
we are all pussyfooting around the bigger issue- the only issue:
the ONLY issue we can get them back to the table with is threatening the monopoly. someone should be calling david boies... thinking about a strategy to really do something positive for the long term- for our kids- and for our country.

Thomas said...

This is the one reason why I dislike capitalism, eventually these corporations get so big and powerful they can eat up the government.

Frank Uslan Charlie Kartler said...

Comment moderation sucks.

I used to love coming in here and watching the back-and-forth conversations you guys were having. I hope they can take it off soon.

Martin said...

Media consolidation is one of the biggest problems we face. Six companies control about ninety-five percent of what we hear and see on Tv.
One small network has filed a suit with the FCC (Wealthtv Vs Time-Warner ) Lets see what the FCC does about this one.

Captain Obvious said...

Silly Martin. The FCC doesn't do anything about any of the "real" or "important" issues. The FCC only cares about exposed nipples and bad words...

Frustrated Bystander said...

I think the interesting thing about all this vertical integration is that it sets up a limited market in which creative artists can sell.

Check out this link to cancelled shows:

One insidious thing I have noticed in this last season is the cancellation of shows that were not owned and developed by the same conglomerate that owned the network airing the show. If you take a look at the shows that had independent production companies partnered with independent studios, you will see cancellations of shows that the network does not own. So shows such as "Close to Home" made by Warner Brothers and aired on CBS got cancelled, as well as Lionsgate's "Dead Zone" (aired on USA owned by NBC/Universal) and "Dresden Files" (aired on Sci Fi Channel owned by NBC/Universal). Likewise "The 4400" was made by Paramount and cancelled off NBC/Universal owned USA.

I believe this vertical integration thing is something people may want to really study in order to understand the impact that it will have in terms of sequestering access to a broad market in which to sell. The market is closing down to six storefronts, and if you are not in any one of these pipelines, you are out of luck.

One thing this internet "battle" opens up is the idea of another distribution channel to "sell" to.

The other technological market that has not been captured, like the internet, is the hand held phone market like Apple iPhone (and whatever may be in the evolutionary lineup with Sprint, Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry, etcetera in terms of a "large screen" phone in which to view streaming eps of TV). These new large screen phones seem like the perfect place to sell "content" developed by established showrunners and independent production companies. What may seem like an experience of being pushed out by vertical integration may be an experience of being pushed into a new model of creating content for advertisers and high tech cell phone users.

With all the text messaging ballyhoo, I can see an "interactive" cellphone experience that might engage this blackberry generation in a fashion that allows for groups of kids/student/users to "socialize" around a particular "show" on their phone system in the way that they used to do in front of the TV. Now they'll just do it texting each other in class when they're bored with chemistry.

Anyway, just some food for thought.

Laser said...

The libertarian in me tells me that we should let the media market sort out themselvelves without government intervention.

If the market doesn't want diversity, the market doesn't want diversity.

Frustrated Bystander said...

HULU IS LOOKING FOR CONTENT PARTNERS...Check out their human resources position for a content manager. Hmmm, seems like an enterprising independent production company and showrunner could just go straight to Hulu with their own advertiser sponsored programming.

Hulu Headquarters, Los Angeles
12312 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Telephone: 310-571-4700
Fax: 310-571-4883

Business Development Manager
Content & Distribution Partnerships
Los Angeles, CA

Identify, prioritize and close new content and distribution partners to continually expand the broad array of premium content available via Hulu and to expand the outlets by which consumers can find and enjoy that content.
Own a set of partner relationships with the objective to maximize the value of those partnerships for both Hulu and the partners.
For content partners, identify and secure all relevant content from a partner, and manage changing line-ups over time as required by various rights restrictions.
For distribution partners, work closely with the partners to maximize the combined revenue generated by the partnership.
Guide partners through the initial on-boarding process to ensure proper work-flows are set up and functioning, and maximize the degree to which the partnerships can be managed via on-line tools.
Provide key requirements to our technical teams to continually increase the value to partners of the reporting and analytical capabilities on Hulu.com.

5+ years of online media relationship management experience, or similar business development experience with significant technology focus.
Experience building a referral network via current client base and centers of influence.
Demonstrated excellence in business relationship-building skills.
Demonstrated results in development and execution of strategy to build sales and successful business relationships.
Detailed knowledge of major technology areas.
Thorough understanding of market research, data collection and analysis.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Ability to prioritize and handle multiple requests concurrently.
Ability to problem solve and bring timely resolution to issues.
Education: Bachelors Degree, MBA a plus
Hulu is an equal opportunity employer.
Please send your resume to: jobs@hulu.com

Captain Obvious said...

Frustrated, if I'm not mistake, Hulu is a joint partnership between struck companies.

I think that'd technically make it a struck company, too.

Roger Green said...

I think "laser" would be right about allowing the marketplace to decide IF the marketplace were actually a level playing field. But when govt assists in the creation of greater oligopolies and fails in its responsibility to "promote the public good", then govt needs to create opportunities for diversity.
The alternative would be a massive antitrust action against the Big 6 for collusion, and laser, I'm sure that would be even more distasteful to you.

Frustrated Bystander said...

DOH! I'm an idiot.

Still, it's interesting to see that they are seeking material outside of Fox and NBC.

It just highlights the urgency of making sure streaming is covered in the new contract.

Hey, what about pickets outside of their offices in the New Year to call attention to the market penetration that Fox and NBC has invested in?

jazzence said...

Tell "Chairman" Martin what you really think about his push for consolidation. Email the lackey!