old media

There’s lots of buzz about today’s news of the FCC relaxing media ownership rules.

Five or ten years ago, I would have been incensed about the decision. If you look back in time, you’ll see that every time the FCC “relaxes” the rules, monopolistic control of the media takes a big leap. And I’m sure this time will be no exception.

However, with today’s news, I really could care less. And this decision only affects the top 20 markets. Small markets are ignored. Big whoop.

Five or ten years ago, traditional media were still the only real game in town. Monopolies needed to be avoided. It was a sacred privilege and responsibility to own a transmitter or a printing press. That immense power needed to be spread out.

But today, everyone is the media. One of my big money quotes in my speaking engagements is that now everyone owns a printing press through the publishing power of the web. You’re reading my latest edition right now.

I’m fascinated with how traditional media are struggling with the rapid changes that continue to pop up. They’re moving in slow motion. And they’re wasting time arguing about things that are secondary to the threat that’s facing them.

It’s almost like the horse buggy manufacturers arguing with each other while Model T’s zip by outside.

The danger is that I don’t think “new media” is ready to take over the watchdog responsibility from old media. There’s not enough experience there. There’s no accountability. And there’s a lack of legitimacy from the powers-that-be. (A blogger and a newspaper reporter ask for an exclusive interview with the mayor — who do you think gets it?)

There will be (and already is) a major backlash about this FCC decision. But it’s a waste of time. It’s not about who owns the pipes or how many pipes they own in any market. It’s not about who owns transmitters and printing presses.

Today, it’s about who owns the content that the masses want to consume. And they don’t care how it’s delivered to them.

Chris Houchens is a marketing raconteur & writer. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

Posted in media, strategy Tagged with: , , , ,
2 comments on “old media
  1. Anonymous says:

    mullah cimoc say aemriki not having him free press. for save ameriki nation usa people must to make new federal communication law:

    1. each tv station and each the radio station must be own 100% by person live within physical area serve by tv station. this call the local ownership.

    2. no single person to owning more than 1% of any one tv station stock certificate. this make the diverse ownership.

    3. abolish him networks, abccbsnbcfox. then to letting local own station form own networks with power from bottom up (flow from shareholder to board of director to ceo), not him top down like now in usa.

    4. this keep the free press and stop the rupert murdoch type man keep all ameriki so stupid if buy him corporation which to own so many station and newspaper and radio and keep ameriki the stupid people.

    after follow mullah cimoc method benjamin frankling to be the proud.

    for true info: stop1984now@yahoo.com

  2. MarkVanPatten.com says:

    Excellent analysis of where most old media are with respect to “new media.”
    There is no sense of urgency.