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- "Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets around the world." is a modern generalized description.
Media conglomerates exist in Europe and Asia, as well as Latin America. As a legal construct a media conglomerate has become a standard feature of the global economic system since 1950.
A conglomerate is, by definition, a large company composed of a number of smaller companies engaged in seemingly unrelated businesses.
It is questionable whether media companies are unrelated, as of 2007[update]. The trend has been strongly for the sharing of various kinds of content (news, film and video, music for example). The media sector is tending to consolidate, and formerly diversified companies may appear less so as a result. Therefore, the term media group may also be applied, however it has not so far replaced the more traditional term.
According to the 2013 Fortune 500 list, the Walt Disney Company is America's largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue, with News Corporation (now News Corp & 21st Century Fox), Time Warner, CBS Corporation, and Viacom completing the top five. Other major players are Comcast and Sony's Sony Corporation of America subsidiary.
Canada, Australia and NZ have perhaps a greater level of media concentration than the US does. The concentration issue is an ongoing issue for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Australian Communications and Media Authority and its NZ equivalent.
Critics have accused the larger conglomerates of dominating media, especially news, and refusing to publicize or deem "newsworthy" information that would be harmful to their other interests, and of contributing to the merging of entertainment and news (sensationalism) at the expense of tough coverage of serious issues. They are also accused of being a leading force for the standardization of culture (see globalization, Americanization), and they are a frequent target of criticism by various groups which often perceive the news organizations as being biased toward special interests.
There is also the issue of concentration of media ownership, reducing diversity in both ownership and programming (TV shows and radio shows). There is also a strong trend in the United States for conglomerates to eliminate localism in broadcasting, instead using broadcast automation and voice-tracking, sometimes from another city in another state. Some radio stations use prepackaged and generic satellite-fed programming with no local content, except the insertion of radio ads.
Notable examples (US)
Some of the most well-known media conglomerates include:
- 21st Century Fox
- ABS-CBN Corporation
- Advance Publications
- American Media
- Bell Media (owned by Bell Canada Enterprises)
- Bennet Coleman and Co. Ltd (a.k.a. The Times Group, distinct from Times Newspapers of News Corp)
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
- Clear Channel Communications
- CBS Corporation (owned by National Amusements alongside Viacom)
- Discovery Communications
- Dogan Group Companies
- E. W. Scripps Company
- Fujisankei Communications Group
- Gannett Company
- Grupo Abril
- Grupo Clarín
- Grupo PRISA
- Grupo Televisa
- Hearst Corporation
- Hubbard Broadcasting
- Ion Media Networks
- The Jim Pattison Media Group (division of Jim Pattison Group)
- Lagardère Active (owned by Lagardère Group)
- Liberty Media
- The New York Times Company
- News Corp
- Next Media
- Organizações Globo
- Postmedia Network
- Quebecor Media
- Rogers Communications
- Shaw Communications
- Sinclair Broadcast Group
- Sony Corporation of America (owned by Sony)
- Sun-Times Media Group
- Time Warner
- Time Warner Cable
- Tribune Company
- Viacom (owned by National Amusements alongside CBS Corporation)
- Village Voice Media
- The Walt Disney Company
- The Washington Post Company
- Conglomerate (company)
- Concentration of media ownership
- Media imperialism
- Media proprietor
- Multinational corporation
- Lists of corporate assets
- Ranking – The 50 Biggest Media Corporations 2013
- Moglen, Eben, Michael Pertschuck, and Scott Sherman, (1999). "Editorials" (Nation, 269: 18). p. 12. ISSN: 00278378
- – Fortune 500