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Dorgan Seeks GAO Study on Media Consolidation

He also asks how much traditional media companies have come to dominate popular online sites.

Fresh on the heels of a Senate vote approving his effort to overturn the FCC’s easing of the cross-ownership ban, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has asked the Government Accountability Office to study the impact of increased media concentration.

He cites concerns over the decline of independently produced and -owned content in radio and TV. Dorgan wrote in his letter to the acting comptroller of the GAO, “There has been galloping concentration in the media. I believe it is high time we examine the real-life impact this consolidation has had on what Americans see, hear and read.”

Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin also signed the letter.

Dorgan has requested that the GAO study several issues regarding programming sources and distribution, changes over the past decade and the impact of consolidation on independent programming. He also wants to learn to what extent the Internet has provided an outlet for independent programming and how much traditional media companies have come to dominate the most popular Internet sites.