Kevin Martin on How to Save Newspapers

13 Nov ’07

Kevin Martin, the Chair of the US FCC, has an op-ed in the NYT tying trauma in the newspaper market to the proposal before the FCC to allow ownership of both a newspaper and a broadcast TV or radio station in a single market, which he says ought to be permitted in large markets. Media concentration saves costs, the argument goes. I have no idea what the right answer is, but I wonder – is this akin to saving a prisoner’s life so you can later execute him, or are large media markets well enough served so that the loss of editorial independence that would inevitably come from this will just not matter? My gut tells me that newspapers ought to be protected from what happened to TV, but I doubt anyone knows how to do that. Update: Marty Kaplan tears into the issue with sharp teeth.

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Coho November 14, 2007 at 09:48

Rob, I’m curious what you mean by “newspapers ought to be protected from what happened to TV.” I do some work with NAB, so I don’t deal with newspapers. But I do agree with Martin 100% that the cross-ownership ban is a relic of the Carter-era. The media landscape has changed so much (with new media, blogs, etc…) that I think it makes sense to relax rules for traditional media.

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