Media Consolidation: the Illusion of Choice


Graphic of executive playing puppeteer with a television, newspaper, radio, and camera as the puppets broadcasting information to the (in the graphic literally) little people below. At bottom it reads, "Media Consolidation: THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE"
This information and the accompanying graphics come from a larger infographic that can be found at along with a list of sources.—Ed

Media has never been more consolidated. 6 media giants now control a staggering 90% of what we read, watch, or listen to.

"In 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 companies. In 2011, that same 90% is controlled by 6 companies. These 6 companies are: GE (notable properties: Comcast, NBC, Universal Pictures, Focus Features), News Corp (notable properties: Fox, Wall Street Journal, New York Post), Disney (notable properties: ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Miramax, Marvel Studios), Viacom (notable properties: MTV, Nick Jr, BET, CMT, Paramount Pictures), TimeWarner (notable properties: CNN, HBO, TIME, Warner Bros.), CBS (notable properties: Showtime, Smithsonian Channel,, Jeopardy, 60 Minutes)."

The Big Six control 70% of your cable. 3,762 businesses contribute 30%.

Comcast’s NBC merger guarantees control of 1 of every 5 hours of television, and a monopoly of 11 U.S. markets including New York City and Chicago.

178 million unique users read Time Warner news every month. That’s two times Digg, Tumblr, and Reddit, combined… and almost three times Google News.

"News Corp owns the top newspaper on 3 continents. In 2010 they avoided $875 million in US taxes"

"In 1995, the FCC forbade companies to own over 40 stations yet Clear Channel owns 1,200 stations. In Minot, ND they own every station."

Enabled by FCC deregulation and a decades-long orgy of mergers and acquisitions, these 6 giants dominate our media landscape. Until regulations return, (or they buy each other out of existence) they will continue to control 90% of everything Americans see, hear and consider important.

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