Week 8: Discussion Questions

How has the Telecommunications Act of 1996 affected the radio industry? Be sure to include your thoughts on the pros and cons of deregulation, consolidation and radio network programming from both a consumer and provider perspective.

Congress really put a number on the American people when they put the Telecommunications Act of 1996 together. In my opinion I do not see as many “pros” as I do for “cons”. This act allowed conglomerates to overhaul radio. It seems as if Clear Channel  has swallowed every radio station and has become the leader in what they want you to hear. I do not think that is good for anyone. Since they own the radio stations than that means that they own the programming. Since they own the programming they run the programming. That means that there is less radio talent needed in smaller markets. I have seen the effects locally on radio in Tampa. I have seen the parent companies out of Los Angeles lay off people in Tampa because there is no need to keep the people in Tampa if they are controlling everything in Los Angeles. I am personally sick of it. It seems like I hear the same thing on every radio station. All of that would be a con for me and possibly you, but that in return is a pro for the large conglomerates/providers.

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3 Responses to Week 8: Discussion Questions

  1. walter Pickens says:

    The telecommunication Act was formed to create a stronger and competetive market between radio businesses, but its rules and regulations where enforced strongly that some station owners disagreed with the limits of license owns and the number of staions commonly owned.

  2. missmollyana says:

    You are right on when you say that jobs are being lost in radio because the “boss” in another state doesn’t need to keep local talent employed if they can essentially “kill two birds with one stone”. I, like you, believe the “cons” far outweigh the “pros”.

    What I found to be the most aggravating (outside of job loss and of course, information control) is how the bill was passed. When a bill is earmarked with additional bills in order to get the less favorable one passed, it seems to me, down right criminal. Why not send each bill through Congress on its own merits rather than taking advantage on the American people? In this case, people couldn’t wait to see the bill passed because it was earmarked with The Communications Decency Act of 1996. This act prevented the airing of indecent subject matter during times that the station would most likely be viewed by young people. In my opinion, the Telecommunication Act was passed due to lined pockets, political strategy and promises, and a bamboozled American people.

    I found the following on another blog:
    “Earmarks are considered a gateway drug. Once one is put in, bunches get put in. Politicians make cloakroom deals. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Hey, it’s not their money anyway so they might as well spend as much as they can.”

    http://pointsandfigures.com/2010/11/27/senator-earmark/

  3. I completely agree with you. All of the pros are for the conglomerates. I always hear the same darn thing on the radio and that’s why I almost never listen to it anymore. It’s very frustrating. I love NPR but they are one of the few good independent stations left. You made a really good point when you mentioned Los Angeles laying people off in Tampa (where we desperately need jobs). It’s a great example of why the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was only good for the freedoms it allowed companies to become (or become even larger) conglomerates.

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