"It's the programming, stupid!"

Garrett Wollman wollman@bimajority.org
Sat May 19 21:56:13 EDT 2012

<<On Sat, 19 May 2012 17:12:07 -0400, Donna Halper <dlh@donnahalper.com> said:

> But things began to shift during the top-40 era, when the FCC
> permitted group owners to have more stations,

Hold on a second there, Donna.

Throughout most of "the top-40 era", the limits were 7/7/7.  In the
1930s, there was no limit on the number of stations one could own (all
AM, of course).  When FM and then television were introduced, limits
were applied (6 commercial FM licenses and 5 commercial TV licenses).
The original Network-Monopoly Report in 1941 limited networks (but not
other licensees) to three stations each; this seems to have been
amended before the rules finally came into force in 1943.  At various
times the Commission played with the TV ownership limits to try to get
more investment into small-market (UHF) stations by the major groups.
I'm not sure at what point the overall limits were doubled, but mwmory
wants to say it was in the 1980s.  The duopoly rule, also introduced
in 1941, was repealed during the Bush (G.H.W.) administration, and by
that time the old top-40 audience had long since fragmented.


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