Module 3 Module 3 Module 3 Module 3
Module 3 Presentation Readings Assignments

Go on to Part 6, New Media Landscape
Go back to Part 4 - The Roles of Mass Communication

Current Trends in Mass Communication

Page 1 of 3

1) Concentration of Ownership

2) Globalization

3) Audience Fragmentation

Man of the Year
Click for larger image
© 1999, Don Wright

1) Concentration of Ownership

Mergers, acquisitions, and buy outs have reduced the number of media companies.

Click this link to open an interactive web page showing just how much media is controlled by just six companies. Ownership Chart: The Big Six

AOL / Time Warner Merger
Click for larger image
© Michael Ramirez

Positives of Concentration

1) Decreases cost of producing content

For example, two years ago Summer, ABC merged its sports unit with the ESPN sports unit. They reduced the combined staff by 25%.

2) "Synergy" increases exposure of media to audiences

ESPN runs promotions on ABC, and ABC runs promotions on ESPN


1) Limits diversity of opinion and limits exposure to diverse content

For example, the top four radio station owners control 70% of all radio listenership

2) Limits sources of information

For example, in 1920, 700 of the largest cities had competing newspapers. Now, fewer than twenty cities have competition.

3) Reduces number of gatekeepers

For example, three companies own all the cable news networks

4) Eliminates any realistic feedback other than economic
5) Fixes prices at arbitrary levels

For example, Clear Channel has a 95% market share of concert tickets sold in the US. Concert ticket prices have risen 50% more than the price of CDs since 1996.

Go to the Readings and click on the four articles on Concentration of Ownership.

Current Trends in Mass Communication

Page 1 of 3
This is an official FGCU web page. Revised 01/01/2011
©2011, Terry Dugas

All media, Copyright, respective owners. Media used within copyright Fair Use guidelines as outlined by the University of Texas, Stanford University, and others.
Florida Gulf Coast University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.