Tuesday, December 18, 2007

As expected, FCC overturns cross-ownership ban

Big Corporate Media got a boost today. The 3-2 vote today along party lines overturns the 32-year-old rule prohibiting media companies from owning a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market. (Tribune already has its waivers.)

The vote came amidst enormous public pressure and warnings from 25 members of Congress. Chairman Martin has continually expressed concerns about the steady decline in revenue for newspaper companies, but declines in revenue notwithstanding, media companies are still averaging 17%-18% profits — more than any industry in the Fortune 500. From AP -

Opponents of the ban say in the past decade there has been an explosion of news outlets thanks to cable television and the Internet and that such restrictions are no longer necessary. Ban supporters say there may be additional outlets, but there has been no corresponding increase in news gatherers and producers, especially at the local level.
Tribune stock nears magic number: After hitting a one-year low of $22.78 in August, the stock hit a new one-year high of $33.40 today. It closed at $33.31.

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