Monopoly Capital – The corporatization of news infects Connecticut

A media blob has come to Connecticut

Ben Bogardus | Quinnipiac University / Hamden Assistant Professor

Like it or not, a Connecticut television station is now part of a media conglomerate. The Federal Communications Commission just approved the sale of Media General’s New Haven-based ABC affiliate WTNH to Nexstar Media Group, as part of a larger $4.6 billion merger involving TV stations around the country. The deal officially closed on Tuesday. Nexstar now owns more than 170 stations covering 39 percent of American households. That’s the maximum percentage allowed by the FCC.

The deal was controversial from the start, because it brings more TV stations under a fewer number of owners. Critics say that’s dangerous because it reduces the diversity of voices within the media. When a small number of companies control a greater number of stations, there are fewer opportunities for competing voices, innovation in news coverage, or differentiation between TV stations. That, critics worry, will lead to greater commoditization of news, where viewers stop caring about where their news comes from, since they decide all stations look alike and cover the same stories.

But the issue is more than just an abstract thought. Viewers here in Connecticut may soon notice some changes on-air that go beyond a new name in the copyright at the end of WTNH’s newscasts. READ MORE

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