Media Consolidation
The 5 Major Networks


Despite overwhelming public opposition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on December 18 to overturn a 30-year-old ban prohibiting a single company from owning both the local newspaper and a television station in the same community.


Hundreds of thousands of Americans have spoken out at public hearings and written to the FCC opposing this sort of media consolidation.  In 2003, when Michael Powell's FCC voted --without any public input-- to allow one company to own up to three television stations, the local newspaper, the cable system and up to eight radio stations in one media market, more than 3 million Americans spoke out and the courts eventually overturned the rules.


It's critical that we fight against the FCC decision to relax the newspaper-broadcast cross ownership rule. 


Congress can overturn the FCC decision with a Resolution of Disapproval.  On May 15th, 2008, the US Senate passed the Senate resolution (S.J. Res. 28) by a near unanimous voice vote. They had heard from thousands of Common Cause members which was one of the factors in their strong bipartisan support for the measure. The Resolution has also been introduced in the House (H.J. Res. 79) by Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and currently has 52 cosponsors. Common Cause is working hard to get this resolution passed in the House.


Please take action today at


Read more detail on how we feel about media consolidation by reading our Media Reform Plan for a New Administration.


If you want to learn more about the impact of media consolidation, check out these fact sheets:


 •  Facts On Media In America: Did You Know?   
 •  Who Owns What? (from the Columbia Journalism Review)

 •  Media Ownership Rules Explained

 •  Notable Quotes Against Media Consolidation

 •  Money in Broadcast Politics

 •  Timeline of Media Mega Mergers


Common Cause has filed comments with the FCC opposing any rules change that allows for more media consolidation.  Two of our reports were entered into the official record:


•  A Tale of Five Cities: Why the Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-Ownership Ban Should be Preserved

•  Citizens Speak: The Real World Impacts of Media Consolidation



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