Television Station Ownership in the United States

AEJMC’s Journalism & Communication Monographs (Volume 8, Number 1, Spring 2006) features a broad analysis by Herbert H. Howard titled: Television Station Ownership in the United States: A Comprehensive Study (1940-2005).

ABSTRACT
Multiple-station, or group, ownership is a long established characteristic of broadcasting in the United States. It exists whenever a single organization owns more than one station or one medium. Through the efficiencies of operation of multiple outlets, or economies of scale, group media companies usually enjoy financial benefits that are not available to single medium operators. Thus, a long-term trend toward consolidation has prevailed throughout the history of the radio broadcasting industry. Television owners quickly adopted the practice, which has expanded steadily, as regulations have permitted ever since. The three forms of multiple ownership- Group ownership, Duopoly ownership and Cross-media ownership are analyzed in this study. Particularly, this study provides (1) a statistical-historical account of the development of multiple-station ownership in the TV industry from 1940 to 2005; and (2) a historical account and analysis of the government’s regulatory actions on media ownership during the same period. This study explores thus, the ownership consolidation and industry regulation that continue to be significant issues for the media industries with on-going implications.

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