If left unchecked, the increased concentration of media ownership will have negative impacts on the availability and diversity of children’s programming.
In July 2006, the Federal Communcation Commission (FCC) announced plans to re-examine its media ownership rulemaking. In response to this announcement, Children Now conducted Big Media, Little Kids 2, a study of the impact of media consolidation on children’s programming.
Figure: Average Weekly Children’s Program Hours per Station
(Click to enlarge image)
Children Now’s 2007 study, Big Media Little Kids 2, found that as media ownership consolidates, children’s programming suffers. Across all eight media markets surveyed, duopoly stations—defined as two or more stations in a market that are owned by the same company—decreased their children’s program offerings by five times more than did companies that owned a single station.
Children Now’s initial study of media ownership consolidation’s impact on children’s programming, conducted in 2002, also showed that the creation of duopoly stations contributed to a serious decline in the availability and diversity of children’s television programming in Los Angeles.
Children Now submitted, on behalf of the Children’s Media Policy Coalition and all children, comments to the FCC regarding its 2006 Review of the Media Ownership Rules.
Children Now has also testified at a number of FCC hearings on the issue of media ownership, sharing our findings regarding the effect media consolidation on children.