June 22, 2009

Top 8 Media Conglomerates

In 1983, fifty corporations dominated most of every mass medium, including our news sources. In 1987, the fifty companies had shrunk to twenty-nine. In 1990, the twenty-nine had shrunk to twenty three. By the end of 2006, there are only 8 giant media companies dominating the US media, from which most people get their news and information. These Are:

  • Disney (market value: $72.8 billion)

  • AOL-Time Warner (market value: $90.7 billion)

  • Viacom (market value: $53.9 billion)

  • General Electric (owner of NBC, market value: $390.6 billion)

  • News Corporation (that's Fox, which now owns the Wall Street Journal, market value: $56.7 billion)

  • Yahoo! (market value: $40.1 billion)

  • Microsoft (market value: $306.8 billion)

  • Google (market value: $154.6 billion)

The market failure is that these conglomerates have become part of the establishment on which they are supposed to report. They have become beholden to short term profits and entertainment value. Corporate commercial interests have blunted their ability to speak truth to power at a management level, where the control lies.

The high-flying celebrity status of the hosts, and fear of loosing that status, creates a strong aversion to taking the risks associated with speaking truth to power.

The reduced numbers of employees in this consolidated industry make even the technical jobs rare plums. Thus, young people who want a job in the media industry will tend to do what ever management wants... no questions asked. It doesn't matter if these young people, and the vanishing news reporters, are "liberal"; they don't pick the stories to be covered and don't decide what makes it into print or on the air.

Bottom line is that the media industry reflects corporate conservatism, not liberalism.



libhom said...

It's weird how Viacom sold CBS and Time Warner is trying to dump AOL.

libhom said...

Actually, I think Viacom split CBS off. Oops.

GDAEman said...

too big to fail... too big to manage... to frigg'n big.

ecl stock said...

Thanks for a great post, I never thought of it like that before.