FCC Orders Economic Studies as Part of Media Ownership Rules Review

Publish date:

FCC Orders Economic Studies as Part of Media Ownership Rules Review

Nov 27, 2006 12:30 PM

Washington - Nov 22, 2006 - The FCC will conduct 10 economic studies as part of its review of its media ownership rules. Each of these studies will be peer reviewed. The announcement comes with separate statement from Democratic commissioners Adelstein and Copps.

  • Study 1: How People Get News and Information
    This study will survey consumers about their use of media. It will identify consumers' primary, secondary and tertiary sources of news and information; whether these sources change depending on the time of day or day of the week; and the frequency with which consumers access these sources.
    Author: Nielsen
  • Study 2: Ownership Structure and Robustness of Media
    This study will describe the ownership structure and robustness of current media, including broadcast TV, cable TV, satellite TV, broadcast radio, satellite radio, newspapers and the Internet. The information gathered concerning the current media marketplace will be compared to the state of the media marketplace when the Commission last reviewed its ownership rules in the years 2002-2003.
    Authors: C. Anthony Bush, Kiran Duwadi, Scott Roberts and Andrew Wise, FCC
  • Study 3: Effect of Ownership Structure and Robustness on the Quantity and Quality of TV Programming
    This study will analyze the effect of ownership structure and robustness (as described in Study 2) on various measures of the quantity and the quality of different types of TV programming, including local news and public affairs, minority programming, children's programming, family programming, religious programming and violent and indecent content.
    Author: Gregory Crawford, University of Arizona
  • Study 4: News Operations
    This study will collect data on the size and scope of the news operations of radio and TV stations and newspapers. It will also analyze the relationship between the nature of the news operations and market characteristics, including ownership structure and robustness.
    Authors: Kenneth Lynch, Daniel Shiman, and Craig Stroup, FCC
  • Study 5: Station Ownership and Programming in Radio
    This study will use station-level data to examine how ownership structure affects the programming and audience of radio stations.
    Author: Tasneem Chipty, CRAI
  • Study 6: News Coverage of Cross-Owned Newspapers and TV Stations
    This study will examine the effect of newspaper cross-ownership on TV news coverage using matched pairs of cross-owned and non-cross-owned TV stations.
    Author: Jeffrey Milyo, University of Missouri
  • Studies 7 and 8: Minority Ownership
    These two studies will examine levels of minority ownership of media companies and barriers to entry.
    Authors: Arie Bersteanu and Paul Ellickson, Duke University
    Authors: Allen Hammond, Santa Clara University and Barbara O'Connor, California State University, Sacramento
  • Study 9: Vertical Integration
    This study will examine levels of vertical integration in the media industry.
    Author: Austan Goolsbee, University of Chicago
  • Study 10: Radio Industry Review: Trends in Ownership, Format and Finance
    This study will update a study completed during our last review of the media ownership rules. That study was titled "Radio Industry Review 2002: Trends in Ownership, Format and Finance."
    Author: George Williams, FCC

Adelstein and Copps believe that the announcement raises more questions than it answers. Adelstein's statement said, " The descriptions of the studies are scant, lacking any sense of the Commission's expectations for scope, proposed methodology and data sources. In certain instances, the truncated period of time to complete the studies is an ingredient for a study that doesn't engender public faith and confidence."

The statement from Copps said, "How were the contractors selected for the outside projects? How much money is being spent on each project-and on the projects collectively? What kind of peer review process is envisioned? Why are the topics so generalized rather than being targeted to more specific questions?"

Additional details of the studies are not available on the FCC website.