[Fresh on the heels of an FCC decision to relax rules on media ownership, the author argues that the decision is basically meaningless because mega-media companies haven’t been successful. Citing numerous examples of media conglomerates that are either breaking up or slimming down, he cites the lack of scalability and poor economies of scale as the culprits. In other words, combining two newsrooms doesn’t result in more information being published at lower cost. Media consolidation isn’t working, he argues, so the FCC ruling won’t be much of an incentive to anyone. – Ed.]
[Sam Zell formally took control of Tribune Co. and promised to skewer the sacred cows. Zell fired the board of directors and brought in an eclectic collection of media personalities to advise him. He also took the title of CEO, indicating that he plans to take a strong hands-on role in running the company. Zell promised to decentralize and push the decision-making at Tribune Co.’s properties down to the local level. He said newspapers have a great future, though he admonished journalists for treating their readers “more like students than customers.” The new employee-owners of the company will be challenged to shed their “journalistic arrogance” and come up with new ways to generate revenue, he said. – Ed.]
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