Big Media, Little Kids: Media Consolidation and Children's Television Programming, 2003

May 01, 2003

Download file: bigmedia_2003.pdf

The Federal Communications Commission is currently considering modifying or eliminating existing media ownership rules. Children’s advocates are concerned that any changes to these rules could negatively affect the already limited amount and types of programming available for children. In order to inform the Commission’s upcoming rulemaking, Children Now conducted the first study ever to examine the availability and diversity of children’s programming in an increasingly consolidated media marketplace. Children Now selected Los Angeles as a case study for this research because it is the second largest media market in the country and two duopolies now exist among its television stations. The study compares the children’s programming schedules from 1998, when the market’s seven major commercial broadcast television stations were owned by seven different companies, to 2003, after consolidation reduced the number to five. The findings suggest that changes to current ownership policies will have a serious impact on the availability and diversity of children’s programming.

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