How is this in any way a shocking revelation? It is only possibly shocking in that they admitted it publicly.
At least the CEO of Clear Channel Communications was honest:
In 2003 Mays testified before the US Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. However, in an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, he remarked,
"We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're not in the business of providing well-researched music. We're simply in the business of selling our customers products."
“‘A handful of us determine what will be on the evening news broadcasts, or, for that matter, in the New York Times or Washington Post or Wall Street Journal…. Indeed it is a handful of us with this awesome power… a strongly editorial power.
“…we must decide which news items out of hundreds available we are going to expose that day. And those [news stories] available to us already have been culled and re-culled by persons far outside our control.’” ~ Walter Cronkite.
The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative.They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name.Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president’s top strategists, grudgingly agree. After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review.The verdict from the campaign ~ an operation that prides itself on staying consistently on script ~ is often no, Barack Obama does not approve this message.
It was difficult to find a news outlet that had not agreed to quote approval, albeit reluctantly. Organizations like Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Reuters and The New York Times have all consented to interviews under such terms.
All I can say about these people I once considered “colleagues” is that I am so ashamed of them. I am mortified. They are humiliating themselves and a vital institution for any free society.It seems the biggest threat to the American tradition of a free and independent press is not government coercion. It’s the willing submission of the press to being handled and managed by government and politicians.
“At my age and stage I've finally reached the point where I don't have to kiss up to anybody,” he said. “What a wonderful feeling it is.”Even so, his talk emphasized what he believes is the erosion of quality journalism, because of the corporatization, politicization, and “trivialization” of news. Those three factors, Rather argued, have fueled the “dumbing down and sleazing up of news” and the decline of “great American journalism.”Likening media consolidation to that of the banking industry, Rather claimed that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations.
Time Warner is the world’s largest media and entertainment company – it owns major operations in film, TV, print, Internet, and telecommunications. Time Warner has an annual revenue of $50.5 billion (2008) – the equivalent of the entire GDP of Luxembourg.
Like cartoons? Time Warner’s got you covered with Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Classic movies? Check (Turner Classic Movies). And who can forget CNN and Headline News? Both are Time Warner properties. (Note: CW is co-owned by Time Warner and CBS).
Home Box Office (HBO)
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
You may associate it with amusement parks, but The Walt Disney Company has grown to be one of the world’s largest media and entertainment corporation since its founding as an animation studio by brothers Walt and Roy Disney in 1923.
The Walt Disney Company owns the ABC television network, with more 200 affiliated stations reaching nearly 100% of all U.S. television market, as well as dozens of niche cable networks. True to its cartoon animation origin, Disney captures its viewers early – it counts millions of young children as its audience with kids channels like the Disney Channel.
Update: 7/8/08: A&E is co-owned by The Hearst Corporation and ABC, which in turn is owned by Disney.
ABC Television Network
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Viacom stands for "Video and Audio Communication" – and true to that name, the company owns a large number of cable and satellite television networks (the company was split from CBS Corporation in 2005, though both have the same majority owner.
In 2007, Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube for copyright infringement and recently a federal judge granted Viacom’s request for data of all YouTube users. The blogosphere has since called for a boycott of all Viacom properties – so that means no MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon or – gasp – Comedy Central for you!
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Country Music Television (CMT)
Nick at Nite
The Movie Channel
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is a behemoth: it is the largest media company in the world by market capitalization ($38 billion). For most people, the conservative news channel Fox comes foremost to mind when asked what they think of Murdoch’s media empire – but the company’s holding is far larger: it includes Asia’s Star TV Network, the National Geographic Channel and even the iconic TV Guide network.
Don'watch TV? Even if you prefer to browse the Internet, most likely you’ve visited News Corp’s property, which include Hulu (owned in partnership with GE through its subsidiary NBC Universal) and the social networking giant MySpace.
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
My Network TV
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
CBS (which used to stand for the Columbia Broadcasting System) is not sometimes called the Tiffany Network for nothing: the company is known for its high programming quality. It is currently the most watched television network in the United States, and reached more than 103 million homes in the country.
CBS and Viacom are owned by multi-billionaire Sumner "content is king" Redstone, through his holding company National Amusements.
CBS Television Network
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CW Network (50% ownership)
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network
General Electric is a true behemoth: the conglomerate is the world’s third largest company with market capitalization of nearly $370 billion and annual revenue of $173 billion (2007). The company produces practically everything – from aircraft engine to locomotives to medical devices.
GE’s media holding includes television networks NBC and Telemundo, 27 television stations in the United States and many cable TV networks, including the History Channel, A&E, and Sci Fi Channel. It also owns the popular web-based TV website Hulu.
NBC Television Network
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Studio Home Video
Media corporations share members of the board of directors with a variety of other large corporations, including banks, investment companies, oil companies, health care and pharmaceutical companies and technology companies.