Groups move vs. media consolidation


Three advocacy groups --, Common Cause and Free Press -- have joined
forces to launch an advertising campaign against media consolidation and the
Federal Communications Commission's anticipated easing of media-ownership rules.

The headline on the ad that appeared in Tuesday's New York Times read,
"This man wants to control the news in America," accompanied by four identical
photos of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch appearing within televisions with
each of the "Big Four" networks' bugs in the right corner.

The headline continues: "The FCC wants to help him."

The text of the full-page ad read, in part, "Next week, the Federal
Communications Commission plans to sweep away ownership restrictions that, for
three decades, have guaranteed at least minimal competition and diversity of
opinions on the public airwaves ... For Murdoch and his fellow moguls, it means
swallowing up independent broadcasters and affiliates and gaining further
control over news content, advertising revenue and cable rates." and other organizations, including Media Alliance, are sponsoring an
online letter-writing campaign to elected officials regarding the June 2

"We consider [Murdoch] the poster child of media consolidation. He is someone
who has a lot to gain by this," explained Mary Boyle, spokeswoman for Common

The groups plan to run the print ad in The Washington Post and
Variety and said they hope to air a television spot on Fox-owned stations
in New York and Washington, D.C., but it has not been scheduled at either station yet.