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Copps: ‘Net, Cable See Concentration

Copps: 'Net, Cable See Concentration

At the same forum, Commissioner Michael Copps said no issue before the agency is so important as the decision on whether to eliminate or significantly change media concentration protections.
He’s especially concerned about media concentration. “I don’t believe that we have the foggiest idea right now about the potential consequences of our actions.”
Copps said radio consolidation is a model for what eliminating concentration protections might do to other media.
“Undoubtedly some efficiencies were created that allowed broadcast media companies to operate more profitably. These efficiencies may even have kept some stations in business. But the (radio) consolidation went far beyond what anyone expected.”
He said some might argue that new forms of media and new technologies like cable and the Internet will protect us from consolidation, but he has data that shows that the same corporations that own the TV networks and the cable providers control 90% of the top 50 cable channels.
The Internet is showing signs of concentration as well, he said. “Is the Internet really giving us new voices, or just recycling existing ones? Do New Yorkers really read the L.A. Times in great numbers on the Internet, or do they just look at MSNBC in another form?”