The Murdoch Newsday Deal Is Bad News for New York

Just before the Senate Commerce Committee is set to vote on a bill that would slow down runaway media consolidation, Rupert Murdoch reminds us why Big Media is bad news.

FCC rules long have prohibited one company from owning the major daily newspaper and a broadcast station in the same city. This “cross-ownership” rule has stopped Big Media conglomerates from gaining a stranglehold on a community’s most vital sources of news and information.

Back in December, the FCC voted to allow cross-ownership across the country – offering up the local media on a platter for the Big Media companies to gobble up.

Rupert Murdoch Murdoch Wants to Take Another Bite out of the Big Apple’s Media.

But even this dismantling of media ownership limits wasn’t enough to satisfy for Rupert Murdoch’s appetite for media power. According to numerous press reports, News Corp. is close to completing a $580 million deal to purchase the Long Island daily Newsday from Tribune Company. If this backroom deal between media moguls Rupert Murdoch and new Trib chief Sam Zell is completed, Murdoch’s News Corp. would control Newsday, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, and two TV stations in the New York market – not to mention the Fox network, Fox News Channel, movie studios, dozens of local TV channels across the country, and hundreds of newspapers worldwide.

That’s too much power in any one man’s hands – and it’s even more troubling that it’s Murdoch, who has used his media to push his personal business interests and political agenda at every turn.

Moreover, this sale is a clear violation of even the FCC’s severely weakened cross-ownership rules – which are being challenged in Congress and the courts — and an assault on journalism, diversity and competition in New York. The FCC should reject this deal and protect the public interest. New York, like the rest of America, needs more media choices, viewpoints and competition — not more consolidation.

On Thursday, the Senate will take the first step in overturning the FCC’s cross-ownership rule changes. The Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote on a “resolution of disapproval” which would veto the FCC’s handout to Rupert Murdoch and his Big Media buddies.

You can take action here to tell your senators that Big Media is bad news for the Big Apple and for your local community.

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