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Children Now to Speak at Oakland Media Ownership Forum

Oct 27, 2006

Today, FCC commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps will take part in a community forum at Oakland Marriott City Center to hear from the public about potential changes to regulations governing the number of media outlets a single company may own.

Children Now, a leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to assuring all children thrive, and author of a landmark 2003 study on the impact of media consolidation on children’s programming, will speak at the forum.

In brief, Children Now’s “Big Media, Little Kids” found that, from 1998 to 2003:

  • after media consolidation was allowed in Los Angeles, the number of hours each week devoted to children’s programming in that market decreased by more than 50 percent;
  • the largest decreases in these programming hours were on stations that are part of media duopolies (where one company owns two television stations in the same market);
  • most repurposing—when series air on more than one channel or network—occurred between outlets that were owned by the same media companies.

“Media consolidation diminishes the availability and diversity of programming for children,” said Children Now Vice President Patti Miller, who will speak at today’s forum. “The FCC must prioritize children’s needs before the commercial interests of broadcasters.”

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