[opendtv] Re: Commentary: Bad News in Mogulville

  • From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2004 15:12:46 -0400

The author, Marvin Kitman, is a humorist.  Clearly his humor was lost on 
you.  He is also the long-time  (since 1969) TV critic of Newsday (and 
the Los Angeles Times syndicate) and co-creator of the CBS sitcom "Ball 
Four," so he doesn't hate TV; it has been very good to him.

But, I suppose that if one has vitriol and dogma on one's mind....


Manfredi, Albert E wrote:

>I just don't get these vitriolic articles with such dogmatic points
>of view.
>If the writer has a point about any one company owning both all-
>news radio stations in a given (enoromous) market, that point gets
>lost completely when his true colors shine through the rhetoric.
>So he hates radio and TV, and believes it is, or rather should
>be, going out of business. If it's truly failing, then what's
>he ranting about? Anything the FCC does or doesn't do will
>be irrelevant. Who cares if the same company owns two news
>radio stations (in a market that has heaven only knows how many
>dozen radio stations) if "everyone" getting their news via
>the Internet? Let it be, then. The radio and TV stations will
>go extinct, and all the ranting will have been for nothing.
>Meanwhile, all these folks getting their news via the Internet
>will certainly not be affected by anything media moguls own
>in the radio and TV market.
>>Via ShopTalk
>>Bad News in Mogulville
>>Marvin Kitman
>>Your average media mogul got some upsetting news last week.
>>First, the U.S. Senate voted to rescind the new Federal
>>Communications Commission rules that would allow a company to own as
>>many as three television stations, eight radio stations, a cable
>>operator, as well as a newspaper, in the same market.
>>What an outrage!
>>And if that weren't bad enough, a federal appeals court in
>>Philadelphia ordered the FCC to reconsider those same rules that big
>>broadcasting and publishing companies had lobbied for and litigated
>>for years.
>>The FCC's new rules, according to its chairman, Michael Powell, were
>>a shot in the arm for democracy, competition and diversity, allowing
>>a fuller range of opinion than was possible under the old rules
>>By a free press, Chairman Powell means freedom for average media
>>mogul Rupert Murdoch to own a duopoly, both WNYW and WWOR in the same
>>New York market. And for Sumner Redstone of Viacom to own both of our
>>local all-news radio stations (WINS and WCBS).
>>By diversity, your average media mogul means the ability to fire
>>people and reduce costs. For example, who needs two news directors,
>>one for the WNYW and one for the WWOR news?
>>Chairman Powell, the average media mogul believes, is the patron
>>saint of free enterprise. Any day they would try to convince the
>>Senate that his face should be on the new $1,000 bill.
>>What a slap in the face it was to the well-paid lobbyists who had
>>been trying to convince the Senate since June 2003 that the FCC's new
>>rules were in the public interest. After all the money they spent on
>>dinners and drinks, plane rides to fancy resorts for corporate
>>meetings and seminars, and whatever else lobbyists do in a town and a
>>Congress run by lobbyists.
>>What's the Senate coming to these days, actually doing something for
>>the people instead of to them!
>>What a denigration of all the hard work Chairman Powell and the three
>>blind mice (the Republican majority on the five-person commission)
>>had done over the years to free the nation's media moguls from the
>>shackles that limited the fulfillment of their destiny.
>>After all the trouble the media companies' lobbyists and litigators
>>went to to convince the FCC that what competition means in the
>>marketplace today is that the fewer owners, the more competition. It
>>took some industrial-strength shutting of eyes since the Telecom Act
>>of 1996, which allowed your average media mogul to swallow everything
>>After all the trouble, the FCC helped by the average media mogul over
>>the years, went to in making people not care about the so-called
>>public interest the moguls are required to serve in exchange for
>>their licenses. The simps think public interest is voting for
>>"American Idol" candidates.
>>Now this - a public rebuke from the judiciary. The court is
>>abusing its powers.
>>I know there are people who think Colin Powell should have bought his
>>kid Michael a tank or a candy store, as one famous agent explained,
>>"and that he and the FCC are a national disaster."
>>But, hey, he represented the views of the average media mogul, his
>>favorite minority group. What are they - chopped liver?
>>Personally, I think the actions by the Senate and the court are good
>>for business.
>>If I was your average media mogul, I would be looking to sell TV
>>stations, not buy them. TV is dead.
>>Everybody younger than 40 I know goes home and checks the news and
>>e-mails on the computer. They download music or some movie they want
>>to see again, play video games. Nobody is watching television.
>>Each year, fewer and fewer people watch TV. Historians will tell you
>>that in the 1950's on Tuesday nights, when Milton Berle did his
>>Texaco show, movie theaters closed down because the entire country
>>was at home watching.
>>And these smart guys are trying to buy more market share when people
>>are tuning out in alarming numbers?
>>The market is disappearing in front of their eyes. It's like trying
>>to catch quicksand or mercury. And it's happening because the
>>programs are so bad.
>>The bottom line is they're fighting over something that is going to
>>disappear in 15 years. Increasing ownership now is like buying up a
>>town after the railroad stopped going there. TV stations are the
>>ghost towns of the arts.
>>I think the moguls are fools. Why bother putting a couple more
>>billion dollars in a losing market? They'd be better off taking the
>>money and putting it into real estate, some apartment buildings in
>>My further advice to your average media mogul: Cheer up.
>>Don't despair.
>>Somehow, some way, despite all the bad news last week, they will
>>manage to get the crazed senators and the wacko federal courts to
>>drop their insane crusades, trampling the rights of media moguls to
>>own it all. Nothing will stop the friends of democracy, free speech
>>and diversity in government from giving away the public airwaves
>>until they end up where they belong: in the grip of the average media
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