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Ted Turner's Beef With Big Media

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the whuh? dept.

The Media 552

pizen writes "Washington Monthly has an article from Ted Turner where he talks about the problems with the media conglomerates and calls for them to be busted: 'At this late stage, media companies have grown so large and powerful, and their dominance has become so detrimental to the survival of small, emerging companies, that there remains only one alternative: bust up the big conglomerates.'"

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FIRST FISH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779113)

I AM A FISH!

Re:FIRST FISH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779145)

I AM A FISH!

The parent is offtopic, unless he is a Turner Fish - in which case I apologize.

Face It. (5, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779114)

Re:Face It. (1)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779267)

Big Media

Isn't that redundant?

Nothing to see here (1, Funny)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779117)

Move along please.

I dislike big media, because it hurts the small paparazzi who still know the real reason they are there. To stalk.

Left meets Right (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779122)


Interesting how right-wing Turner makes many of the same points as left-wingers Chomsky & Herman in Manufacturing Consent [amazon.com] .

If both sides can agree on something as pervasive as mass media perhaps government should rethink things...

Well I am glad to see someone with experience (0, Offtopic)

drxs3v3n (790522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779123)

is challengeing the mass media
they need to be dealt with
there becomeing to powerfull
were looseing all these basic rights
to laws that no one is even going to follow
so down with beuricratic media
and up with linux and the free world

Calling the Kettle Black eh? (2, Insightful)

linuxrunner (225041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779124)

"...bust up the big conglomerates"

This coming from the same AOL - Time Warner?? Time Warner that owns Magazines, Cable Stations (and not just one mind you...)

And THEN merged with AOL?

Ok Ted....

Re:Calling the Kettle Black eh? (4, Informative)

xeaxes (554292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779205)

All of this you are speaking of happened after Ted Turner was bought out. He started the companies, but sold off most of them, including CNN. This was before the merger.

He frequently talks about how much he regrets selling CNN because it is a shell of the channel it once was. He feels the channel is no longer balanced and is now more propaganda and fluff based (lots of entertainment news now) in order to keep up with Fox News.

Re:Calling the Kettle Black eh? (2, Interesting)

phearlez (769961) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779212)

T+3 minutes and we have our first RTFA.

"In 1996, the FCC did away with numerical caps altogether and raised the audience-reach cap to 35 percent. This wasn't necessarily bad for Turner Broadcasting; we had already achieved scale. But seeing these rules changed was like watching someone knock down the ladder I had already climbed."

This isn't surprising from TT, he's always been a whacky pseudoHippy.

Re:Calling the Kettle Black eh? (1)

russellh (547685) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779226)

I don't think you read the article. He says that for media companies to survive today, they need to own the whole chain - everything. In addition, he says he tried to do just that, but failed. It was his job. You run a company, you have to play by the rules or fail. Or quit. He says the rules need to be changed. Who else do you expect to speak out and be listened to?

Re:Calling the Kettle Black eh? (2, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779239)

No, it's coming from Ted Turner, who was bought out by Time Warner before TW merged with AOL. As far as I recall, Turner quit the board in frustration.

I don't always agree with Ted, but I have to appreciate his forthrightness. He doesn't hesitate to say what's on his mind.

Re:Calling the Kettle Black eh? (1)

luiss (217284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779298)

Read the article. He knows who he is.

Re:Calling the Kettle Black eh? (1)

burns210 (572621) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779310)

What he is saying is true, regardless of how odd a place he is coming from. AOL-TW is too large a business to be allowed to exist, along with companies like Disney that hold (what? ABC, some magazines, a newspaper or 2 maybe?).

Competition brings 2 things: Better quality product at lower prices. We have believed this since Adam Smith convinced our Founding Fathers, now why don't we apply it to Big Business?

Re:Calling the Kettle Black eh? (1)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779363)

Ad hominum. Calling a person a hypocrite does not address his position.

You sir are a poopy-head, you smell bad, we wont listen to you.

Re:Calling the Kettle Black eh? (2, Interesting)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779404)

This coming from the same AOL - Time Warner??

ehh, No.

Ted Turner is a human being. AOL/Time Warner is a corporation.

Ted Turner has a little more than 1% ownership of that corporation.

If you had RTFAed, you would understand why he is saying this... if he wanted start another venture like CNN (which I am sure he does), it would be impossible to compete with the conglomerates as they have such an anticompetitive stranglehold on all forms of media.

Why bust? (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779125)

Why not just change the law to make media companies to accommodate to customers needs?

Re:Why bust? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779335)

Because said media companies bribe those in DC with a lot of money and perks too keep things they way they are.

Re:Why bust? (3, Interesting)

palutke (58340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779361)

Why not just change the law to make media companies to accommodate to customers needs?

There's already a remedy for customers whose needs aren't being met . . . go someplace else. You don't have to watch CNN, or Fox News, or MSNBC, or others. Your choices will be more limited, but you DO have alternatives. The law will never be as effective as customer demand at compelling businesses to run effectively.

Sadly, the media companies are as successful as they are because the services they provide are popular with the public. Personally, that fact appalls me, but it's the truth.

Re:Why bust? (2, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779405)

Why not just change the law to make media companies to accommodate to customers needs?

A good start would be to enforce the laws (antitrust) that we already have. They aren't generally enforced by republicans (esp. the current lot), who adhere to the religious dogma that what's good for the corporation is good for America.

Sure, sometimes that's true, but sometimes it most clearly (often painfully clearly) isn't.

The only way someone could rationally support the idea that the concentration of power in the hands of the few is good is if they are a member of (or at least good friends/subjects of) that few.

strange (3, Funny)

The_Real_Nire (786847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779127)

I thought Ted Turner owned them all...

No longer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779294)

That's why he's whining.

It was A-OK for there to be big media conglomerates when he was in on them, but now that he's on the outside [com.com] looking in they "need to be busted up".

It's called whistleblowing (1)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779331)

People on the "inside" don't whistle-blow( if they have half a brain). People on the outside aren't hypocrites for exposing the realities of what most people don't see on the inside, they're just smart enough to know that throwing away their career and life isn't worth it

How is this different? (1)

Apiakun (589521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779128)

How's this any different today than it was 5-6 years ago, when Ted happily sold CNN for lots of money? Oh, I know. He's got the money in his pocket now, and can complain about other people doing it.

Re:How is this different? (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779278)

Actually, he's got a lot less of it now. Turner Broadcasting was a publicly traded company, it was no longer Turner's to sell. The TW buyout wasn't exactly hostile, though, but Ted has regretted it ever since. Most of his money was in stocks, and after the AOL merger, he took a bath.

Snap (2, Insightful)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779129)

Take them apart like the government did with the bells a few years back.. Oh wait sbc is buying everything back.. Point being we as citizens need to keep an eye on these types of things or your rights will get lobbied away.

"Will get"? (2, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779151)

Where the fuck have you been since 9/11?

Re:"Will get"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779204)


Canada. Still have rights here.

Re:"Will get"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779346)

r0r

Re:"Will get"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779210)

What the fuck is it with you americans and the 9th of november ?

haha (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779130)

This is something I never thought I would hear Ted Turner say. I never thought I'd hear him stick up for the little guy. What interest of his does this serve?

Re:haha (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779247)

He used to be the little guy in the media business - CNN was initially greeted with derision, but instead ended up creating a new market for 24-hour news channels.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779254)

he started off as a little guy, so apparently he hasnt forgotten that which is a pretty cool thing.

Re:haha (1)

stromthurman (588355) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779266)

Innovation maybe? Perhaps he lacks the ingenuity to come up with the next big thing in broadcast (assuming such a thing exists), but he certainly doesn't lack the funding to cash in on it when it comes around. With so many media conglomerates, we're seeing repitition of the same broadcast programming, the only differences are the actors cast during the given iteration. When an industry becomes stifled, it will begin to become unprofitable. Maybe Mr. Turner sees this and is hoping a bust of major conglomerates will introduce independent players who will bring innovative ideas to the forum, which he and his buddies can cash in on for the next 30 years.

Re:haha (2, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779337)

I don't always agree with Ted, but I've got to give him credit for speaking his mind. I don't understand, though, why it would have to serve his interest, as opposed to the greater good, for him to speak out. Are you that cynical of wealthy people?

Re:haha (1)

skaffen42 (579313) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779403)

Wasn't Turner the guy who tried to give billion dollars to the UN? Then pretty much gave the finger to guys like Bill Gates, telling them that they should use their money for something usefull.

Wonder if the Gates foundation would exist today if it wasn't for Turner...

Microsoft? (0, Offtopic)

MonkeyDancer (797523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779139)

Would that include Microsoft?

Re:Microsoft? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779421)

You're joking, right??

...eh? (2, Informative)

hekk (471747) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779141)

Keep in mind, this is Ted Turner, the crazy Southren billionare we're talking about here. This guy IS the media!

A quick snippet from his company's website, http://www.turner.com ,

Many are familiar with TBS, Inc.'s groundbreaking network, CNN, one of the world's most respected and trusted sources for news and information. Since its launch more than 20 years ago, CNN's reach has extended to 15 cable and satellite television networks; two private, place-based networks; two radio networks; 12 Web sites; CNN Mobile; and CNN Newsource, the world's most extensively syndicated news service.

TBS, Inc. is also home to familiar entertainment networks such as TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and Turner Classic Movies as well as specialized networks such as Turner South and Boomerang.

TBS, Inc. is also home to The Atlanta Braves, nascar.com and pga.com


Aaaannd he's the vice chairman of Time Warner. Just goes to show, this guy really is nuttier than a fruitcake.

Re:...eh? (1)

drxs3v3n (790522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779228)

I am prety sure ted turner dosen't own cnn anymore

A sign that it really IS serious? (4, Insightful)

abb3w (696381) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779369)

If the head of one of the biggest media conglomerates says they need to be broken up, it may just show how bad things have gotten. There are a few filthy rich who think they are filthy rich enough, and can now put principles ahead of purse. On the other hand, it may be that he's not nutty, but rather Daffy:

"Well I say he does have to shoot me now! So shoot me now!" [cmu.edu]

not his company (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779435)

A quick snippet from his company's website, http://www.turner.com

TBS is Turner's company in name only. He does not own it directly, and his indirect ownership in TBS's parent company is now down to 1.1%.

Umm.... (2, Funny)

jlleblanc (582587) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779143)

Pot? Kettle? Black?

Ted Turner is still just irritated that HIS media conglomerate was hijacked by AOL in the bubble years.

-Joe

Re:Umm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779437)

oh you mean how TW execs fired all of the clueless AOL execs and the upper manangment?

dont kid yourself, it was TW taking over AOL, AOL just didnt realize that.

Meanwhile... (2, Insightful)

InterruptDescriptorT (531083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779148)

Ted Turner spent billions of dollars to buy the rights of a bunch of classic movies, which he then went and colourized. He owns at least three stations that I can think of (I don't watch a lot of TV, so there may be more)--TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies.

This man is in no position to talk about big media. This is like Bill Gates bemoaning monopolistic business practices in the software industry.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779199)

Isn't it either ("eather"/"ither") colorized or coulourised ?

Re:Meanwhile... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779399)

No. In Canada we reject the u-less American spelling (we use colour, honour, favour, etc.) while refusing to accept British s-based -ised spellings. Hence, we get "colourized" - a Canadian word (which isn't in MS Word's dictionary).

(I think we only adopted the z so we can remind Americans we call it zed)

Re:Meanwhile... (4, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779291)

This is like Bill Gates bemoaning monopolistic business practices in the software industry.

NO This is like Bill Gates saying "Microsoft should be broken up to prevent it's detrimental impact on the software market that sifles small business growth." I, for one, would stand up and cheer if Bill Gates said that, but we all know he's not man enough to do the right thing.

PLEASE, let's not pummel this guy for a) doing the right thing b) doing it in a way that will hurt his interestes and c) for his move toward colorizing movies almost 20 YEARS ago [reelclassics.com]

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779352)

Ted Turner is a giant liberal who has many enemies. Half the people saying bad things about him have this as a motivation, which is something useful to remember. It can turn this thread from one of aggravation into one of amusement.

He is in the exact good position to talk about it (1)

kbs (70631) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779377)

This man is in a position to talk about big media. He points to media consolidation as a business necessity, since media isn't about producing content, it's about selling advertising.

Re:Meanwhile... (4, Informative)

kzinti (9651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779383)

He owns at least three stations that I can think of... TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies.

No, those networks are owned by Time-Warner. Go to tbssuperstation.com, www.tnt.tv, or turnerclassicmovies.com, and at the bottom you'll see the text "A Time Warner Company."

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

dasunt (249686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779410)

This man is in no position to talk about big media. This is like Bill Gates bemoaning monopolistic business practices in the software industry.

RTFA

He admits he's big. The current lax regulation does not hurt him much. He talks about how, after deregulation, he tried to buy up the whole market. Yet, at the same time, he complained about the government not doing their job.

What he is complaining about is that the current deregulated climate does not encourage new stations, nor does it encourage stories that the mainstream media doesn't want to cover.

Turner has more to lose then to win with increased regulation.

Re:Meanwhile... (2, Insightful)

halo8 (445515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779428)

I dont know the answers to these questions but i suspect you are wrong IDT

Q: how many newspapers dose Ted Turner own?
Q: how many radio stations?
Q: how many tv stations?
Q: how many ppl are his market areas?

Q: now.. now about rupert murdoc? clear channel? Caldwell black?

Ted Turner? (1)

jcain (765708) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779153)

I think he's just sour over the AOL/Time Warner catastrophe.

Absolutely (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779154)

That's why I hardly ever follow BBC News coverage anymore, instead opting for my free weekly copy of the Sutton Coldfield Observer.

I hate those big media companies.

Re:Absolutely (1)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779362)

You get your news from SCO?

How arrogant... (1)

MindSlap (640263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779155)

Hello Pot..Meet Kettle...

damn right! (1)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779160)

I totally agree but...

Ted Turner is founder of CNN and chairman of Turner Enterprises.

It looks like he's out to take down fox as the top news network then to help inform the people...

fp?

This is the pot calling the kettle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779171)

...red!

Tomorrow's news HEADLINE (1)

MonkeyDancer (797523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779174)

Ted Turner makes large donation to the democratic and republican parties.

Re:Tomorrow's news HEADLINE (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779236)

Just like everyone else who wants goverment influence. Give to both sides. Play both ends against the middle, who ever wins will listen and help, because the are indebted to you.

What nonsense! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779184)

Don't break up the big conglomerates. Break up the government regulations that are preventing the small companies from breaking through. Compliance with regulations is so expensive that they create a virtual monopoly of only those big companies that can afford to comply.

Remove the government roadblocks, and the conglomerates will have competition.

Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged - Read (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779185)

Somebody needs to read Atlas Shrugged again.

Either that or he needs to be beat with it.

$

Re:Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged - Read (1)

CodeHog (666724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779418)

Thanks for the great book suggestion. I was just wondering what to read on vacation and I think I found it. This is one book I've never read but always wanted to. Perfect timing to pick up for vacation... http://www.atlasshrugged.tv/ [atlasshrugged.tv]

The problem is... (3, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779187)

...that Ted Turner sees this whole conglomerate issue too much in black and white.

and the problem is what??? (1)

martin (1336) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779191)

Oh yeah somelike this [imdb.com] you mean?????

He's right (4, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779195)

In todays's megacorp world could you imagine starting something like CNN. It was much simpler 25 years ago when Turner did it. Disney, Viacom, AOLTW, Murdoch, it is very hard for a newcomer to break in now. The last newcomer was Fox and thats been over ten years ago. I don't think they would have made it without Murdochs newspaper empire to back them up till they got a foothold.

Re:He's right (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779249)

For the first few years Fox News didn't charge cable networks to carry them, they PAID cable providers to carry them.

Re:He's right (2, Informative)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779297)

The money came from Murdochs empire. Unlike when Turner started CNN and the cable companies were begging for programming to fill the channels they'd snagged from the FCC.

Re:He's right (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779367)

I don't think they would have made it without Murdochs newspaper empire to back them up till they got a foothold.

Even with that backing, I wonder if they would've made it without 9-11 to give them an irrational audience to play to.

That's true for *any* mature market (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779384)

It was really easy to start an automobile-making company about a century or so ago, too. Today, it's almost impossible. Yet no one's going about screaming for the breakup of Ford, GM, or Toyota. But I'd bet the original owner(s) of Oldsmobile (IIRC that was once an independent company that GM bought) and Packard (no longer exists...) and their ilk complained a bit in the 1920's and 1930's as the auto industry consolidated and matured.

25 years ago the cable TV industry was in its infancy, and Turner leveraged that into making TBS and CNN successes.

But the entire cable TV industry is a lot more mature and saturated these days, making it harder for marginal startups to continue to exist - and they can pretty much forget about growing themselves into multi-billion-dollar players.

This also applies to internet businesses. Five or so years ago you could have tried to start an internet auction business to compete with EBay. That won't work now.

What about second opinions from... (4, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779202)

Mr Bachman and Mr Overdrive?

Me worry? Naaaah... (2, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779203)

Face it: TV is dead .

I don't watch TV much these days: mostly BBC World for news and a few cable channels that broacast things like "Six Feet Under" or documentaries. That's it. It's probably a couple of hours a week, tops.

Most of the news and entertainment that I like, I obtain through the Internet, and it's been like that for several years.

So, am I worried about media consolidation? No. Am I worried about Internet censorship and Internet Provider consolidation? Yes. Actually a lot more worried.

Would you like to know more? (2, Funny)

lewko (195646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779317)

WebTV is the next big thing! Honest!

Jane must not be performing her wifely duties (1)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779208)

Ted is clearly bored.

Re:Jane must not be performing her wifely duties (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779271)

Sorry, but he has already divorced Hanoi Jane.

This is the same Ted Turner that... (2, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779223)

This is the same Ted Turner that, while saying oil and gas are evil is making a LOT of money off of them.

" With the recent upturn in natural gas prices, Turner's holdings are worth billions. He recently signed an agreement to double the number of gas wells on the Vermejo to 1,060 wells and El Paso Corporation is paying him a 6.5 percent royalty."

He thinks it is OK for HIM to have such things, but DAMN IT! us normal people shouldn't!

And in other news... (2, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779231)

...John D. Rockefeller has expressed some concern with the size and potential political influence of big oil companies.

The finished quote is here... (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779232)

"At this late stage, media companies have grown so large and powerful, and their dominance has become so detrimental to the survival of small, emerging companies, that there remains only one alternative: bust up the big conglomerates . . ." " . . .because it's so much more difficult to buy them up when they're big."

I can't Stop Myself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779242)

In Soviet Russia, Big Media has beef with YOU!

Goebbels protests against media power? (2, Interesting)

paai (162289) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779248)

I don't know about Ted Turner, but I /do/ know about CNN. It is the main propaganda outlet for the US of A, and that country is rapidly sliding towards fascism. That is bad enough in itself, but it also is the most powerful nation in the world, and to top it all, it is also rapidly exporting its language, folklore (Santa Claus and Halloween world wide) and culture.

Now the funny thing is that the main produce of the USA (amusement and media) is also the crowbar to obtain wol\rld domination. So I am wondering why one of the most important players suddenly comes over all contrite. Are there some sour grapes in the making?

Paai

Re:Goebbels protests against media power? (1)

lewko (195646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779357)

Sliding towards fascism?
Are you getting your news from Indymedia? Or have you been to see that Mike Moore film

You can feel however you want about America, but one thing you can't doubt is it is a democracy.

Anyway, I would rather live under the most despotic American ruler than even the most moderate Arab leader. There's a reason for that and it ain't fascism!

As for blaming America for exporting Santa Claus and Halloween, have you considered someone at the other end has to 'import' it as well? Of course it's easier to criticise America than your own lack of national identity isn't it?

BTW, I'm not an American. I'm an Aussie. We share a lot of common values though and I couldn't be prouder.

Goebbels indeed...

Re:Goebbels protests against media power? (2, Funny)

general_re (8883) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779424)

It is the main propaganda outlet for the US of A, and that country is rapidly sliding towards fascism.

I know that that Amsterdam stuff is some good shit, but you should think about putting the bong down for day or so. Seriously.

I think he's missing the point (1)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779261)

I understand what he is saying and agree with the problem, but his proposed solution We need a new set of rules that will break these huge companies to pieces just outsources this problem to the government, which is in on the whole big media thing, since the government has an inherent conflict of interest when regulating big media outlets.

The source of the problem isn't the media moguls or the current laws, it is the technology of broadcasting which uses finite resources (radio frequency bands) to broadcast that are owned by very large media companies. Once the technology develops that eliminates the notion of a "channel" - be it a radio frequency or a slot on the cable, this will not be an issue. When people have sufficient bandwidth in their homes to watch video streams, "Joe's Local News" and CNN will be on equal footing. In the meantime Ted Turner can work with the FCC on regulating the media markets, but its mostly water under the bridge, just give it another 5-10 years.

I don't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779282)

All the bitching that people are doing here. Ted Turner is one who is in a posistion to make this happen. He's rich, has lots of connections in the industry, knows how the industry works, and is willing to try to break up the industry. It seems to me that he just wants to create a level playing field, similiar to when he started so that perhaps, someone who is not already a billionare can make their fortune in TV.

Why all the Ted Turner bashing? (5, Insightful)

thecombatwombat (571826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779284)

Yes Ted Turner is easily the center of the evils he's complaining about . . . . but well, did anyone RTFA before bashing him?

Sure there's hypocrisy in Turner saying big media should be broken up, but he explains himself rather well. I admit I haven't even read the whole article yet. Maybe he's a little bit bitter (AOL), but he starts by explaining that he could never have gotten started in the current environment and then goes on to detail lots of real problems with the current media. Why can't he just be a very smart old man, who knows more about this topic than probably any of us, and is pissed because his industry is going to hell?

Ted Turner (1)

lewko (195646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779292)

Ted Turner has got no [blogspot.com] right to [littlegreenfootballs.com] get on a pedestal about integrity when CNN's is doubtful at best [blogspot.com] .

Re:Ted Turner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779379)

RTFA

Not the guy to be asking about this (1)

arashiakari (633150) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779309)

He's really mad at Fox News' Rupert Murdoch for winning the fight for #1 cable news network. CNN now has less viewership in the 18-45 age range than the Cartoon Network, and that comes from Neilson Ratings. Ted Turner doesn't have a monopoly on cable news anymore and that chaps him.

Ted Turner WAS Big Media before he divested himself of AOL/TimeWarner when the stock fell through the floor. People were offered a choice on the free market and they chose something other than CNN. When the news is slanted one way or another, you run the risk of people rejecting the political statement you're trying to make and ultimately rejecting you as their source of news. Just as the New York Times is floundering as their circulation numbers fall, CNN has driven away a lot of audience with their spin. They just didn't have anywhere to go until the mid-90s.

And don't tell me they don't have a political slant. Did you see Bill Maher on Larry King Live last night? Larry let him say some pretty wild and counter-culture things without challenging him at all, when a challenge would have been good because it would have given Maher a chance to reason with people and explain things. At least on Fox News you get the Colmes perspective to offset the Hannity, and viewers like that because it draws a deeper picture of the issues. ... Anyway, not trying to be flamebaiting here.

Just noting that there are circumstances that make Ted Turner less than objective about this issue.

The gubmint made me do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779343)

It's a transparent ploy to get the gov't to do his dirty work for him. "hey, sorry share holders, we were broken up by the feds so don't come looking for me to kill..." I bet he wants to get rid of some large bits of his media empire and he doesn't want to tick off wall-street. Plus he probably gets to write off the "charge" because it was imposed on him by the regulators. Or maybe he's just shilling for a seat on the FCC.

TV 'news'? Haven't watched it in years...

But independent voices do exist! (1)

diagnosis (38691) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779350)

In this environment, most independent media firms either get gobbled up by one of the big companies or driven out of business altogether.

While I totally agree with what Ted Turner says, I think he's missed one tiny thing: the freakin' internet. And digital TV. And the huge & growing increase in avenues of communication.

While the major Networks may have more control over what *they* broadcast, there are significantly more options today outside of the major networks than there were ten years ago, and the number grows every year. The big networks are losing market share, and they are responding by more tightly controlling what they can, but it doesn't matter. As the internet becomes a viable medium for delivering video information, everything will shift away from network TV anyway.

The choices are out there, you just have to look. You don't even have to look hard. Slashdot is an alternate voice, Salon is an alternate voice, Slate is an alternate voice. There are equivalents all over the spectrum. Get with it, Ted.

--------------------
Dr. Movie Movie: DrMovieMovie.com [drmoviemovie.com]
The media behemoth of the future, today!

felonious corepirate nazi execrable doomed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779354)

now that ted says it, it really means something?

consult with/trust in yOUR creators.... protecting the innocents since/until forever. see you there?

Ted Turner's a Hypocrite (1, Interesting)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779358)

Just like his buying up of small working ranches and turning them into his private wilderness preserves. [216.239.57.104]

Is Turner Volunteering To Go First? (2, Insightful)

reallocate (142797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779360)

Well?

Ted is just pissed.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9779396)

..tha after the big Time Warner merger he lost all power and they sold off World Championship Wrestling

hipocrite (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779400)

why do these hipocrites say that after they sold off their own company to these conglomerates?

Allow me to translate. (2, Funny)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779406)

In other words, Ted's pissed that the nasty evil conservative Fox News Channel is more popular and less vilified than CNN, so now it's time to change the rules.

I'm sure Big Media was perfectly fine to Ted back in the AOL-Time-Warner heyday, but now, his empire's receded, it's time to lop the winners off at the knees. Why should he care now -- after all, he's made his Big Media money.

Wah wah, Ted Turner. Wah waaaaaaaah.

Blame the buyers (1)

awhelan (781773) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779436)

I agree that big media companies kill competition but it's not just the media. You don't have to watch TV or listen to the radio thanks to the internet. These companies are huge because people choose to watch them and other companies choose to advertise on them. It's simple free market economy. Every week on slashdot we have the same argument about Microsoft, the MPAA, the RIAA, or whoever the corporate villan of the hour is. The government may indeed have to step in and do something, but I really wish I lived in a world where enough individual people cared enough about making it better to actually do something... insted of people like me who just post about it online.

I suppose I could start an activist group or something... maybe someday, but for now I'm just going to keep karma whoring.

A portion of Time Warner companies (1)

MonkeyDancer (797523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9779441)

HBO
CNN
Time Warner Cable
Road Runner
CompuServe
AOL
AOL Europe
ICQ
Netscape Communications
Amazon.com (partial)
CNN Newsroom
Turner Home Satellite
The Atlanta Braves baseball team
New Line Cinema
Warner Brothers
Turner Network Television (TNT)
TBS Superstation
Cartoon Network
Turner Classic Movies
The Knot.com
MapQuest.com
Winamp
Spinner.com
DrKoo p.com (10%)
Hanna - Barbera Cartoons
Castle Rock Entertainment
Rhino Records
Book-of-the-Month Club
Children's Book-of-the-Month Club
Time Life International
Time Life Music
Time Life Books
Time Life AudioBooks
Fortune magazine
Life magazine
Sports Illustrated
Money magazine
People magazine
Entertainment Weekly
Golf Magazine
Outdoor Life
Popular Science
DC Comics
...and many many more!!!!
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