is frantically parsing today's decision
by the FCC to relax, as the parlance goes, the 32-year absolute ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership. If we're reading the PR-massaged bureaucratese correctly, the commissioners' reasoning is that it doesn't serve the public's interest to have a passel of unrelated fly-by-night (economically speaking) media owners floundering alone in the avatar-infested waters of the digital age when a Daddy Warbucks-style conglomerate could make everyone a helluva lot happier with creative cost-cutting, personnel maximization, and synergy. Do not read the last as license (ahem) to consolidate print and signal newsrooms, however -- the FCC promises to make cross-owners pinky-swear that editorial decisions will be made independently.
(p.s. Does this mean the Current
, instead of working diligently on next week's Year in Review dossier, will be phoning our very own `friendly Irish family` conglomerate `Times-Shamrock, in case you don't read the fine print in the front of our paper` to see if we can have a TV station for Christmas? You bet!)
So, whose fault is this, really? The daily papers, apparently, whose less-than-robust subscription roles have convinced the FCC that media competition is alive and well. (Still, no discussion of quality vs. quantity in the FCC's analysis of new-media winners and losers. Not the FCC's forte, perhaps). At any rate, read the news for yourself at fcc.gov
, and should you wish to ask Congress to intervene, freepress.net
will help you contact your lawmakers.
More tomorrow on the FCC's spoonful of sugar: rules purporting to make it easier for minorities and women to own broadcast outlets and to promote more local content.