Who Owns The Media?

Most people in the US do not realize that their mainstream media outlets are owned and controlled by only six corporations.

By Michael Snyder | from: TheEconomicCollapseBlog

Back in 1983, approximately 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the United States.

Today, ownership of the news media has been concentrated in the hands of just six incredibly powerful media corporations. These corporate behemoths control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day. They own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.

Sadly, most Americans don’t even stop to think about who is feeding them the endless hours of news and entertainment that they constantly ingest. Most Americans don’t really seem to care about who owns the media. But they should.


The truth is that each of us is deeply influenced by the messages that are constantly being pounded into our heads by the mainstream media.

The average American watches 153 hours of television a month. In fact, most Americans begin to feel physically uncomfortable if they go too long without watching or listening to something.

Sadly, most Americans have become absolutely addicted to news and entertainment and the ownership of all that news and entertainment that we crave is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands each year.

The six corporations that collectively control U.S. media today are,
1. Time Warner
2. Walt Disney
3. Viacom
4. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
5. CBS Corporation
6. NBC Universal

Together, the “big six” absolutely dominate news and entertainment in the United States.

But even those areas of the media that the “big six” do not completely control are becoming increasingly concentrated. For example, Clear Channel now owns over 1000 radio stations across the United States. Companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are increasingly dominating the Internet.

But it is the “big six” that are the biggest concerns. When you control what Americans watch, hear and read you gain a great deal of control over what they think. They don’t call it “programming” for nothing.

Back in 1983 it was bad enough that about 50 corporations dominated U.S. media.

But since that time, power over the media has rapidly become concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people…
In 1983, fifty corporations dominated most of every mass medium and the biggest media merger in history was a $340 million deal. … [I]n 1987, the fifty companies had shrunk to twenty-nine…

[I]n 1990, the twenty-nine had shrunk to twenty three… [I]n 1997, the biggest firms numbered ten and involved the $19 billion Disney-ABC deal, at the time the biggest media merger ever…

[In 2000] AOL Time Warner’s $350 billion merged corporation [was] more than 1,000 times larger [than the biggest deal of 1983].
– Ben H. Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly, Sixth Edition, (Beacon Press, 2000), pp. xx-xxi
Today, six colossal media giants tower over all the rest.

Much of the information in the chart below comes from

The chart below reveals only a small fraction of the media outlets that these six behemoths actually own:

  • Time Warner

    • Home Box Office (HBO)

    • Time Inc.

    • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

    • Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

    • CW Network (partial ownership)

    • TMZ

    • New Line Cinema

    • Time Warner Cable

    • Cinemax

    • Cartoon Network

    • TBS

    • TNT

    • America Online

    • MapQuest

    • Moviefone

    • Castle Rock

    • Sports Illustrated

    • Fortune

    • Marie Claire

    • People Magazine

  • Walt Disney

    • ABC Television Network

    • Disney Publishing

    • ESPN Inc.

    • Disney Channel

    • SOAPnet

    • A&E

    • Lifetime

    • Buena Vista Home Entertainment

    • Buena Vista Theatrical Productions

    • Buena Vista Records

    • Disney Records

    • Hollywood Records

    • Miramax Films

    • Touchstone Pictures

    • Walt Disney Pictures

    • Pixar Animation Studios

    • Buena Vista Games

    • Hyperion Books

  • Viacom

    • Paramount Pictures

    • Paramount Home Entertainment

    • Black Entertainment Television (BET)

    • Comedy Central

    • Country Music Television (CMT)

    • Logo

    • MTV

    • MTV Canada

    • MTV2

    • Nick Magazine

    • Nick at Nite

    • Nick Jr.

    • Nickelodeon

    • Noggin

    • Spike TV

    • The Movie Channel

    • TV Land

    • VH1

  • CBS Corporation

    • CBS News

    • CBS Sports

    • CBS Television Network

    • CNET

    • Showtime


    • CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)

    • CBS Consumer Products

    • CBS Outdoor

    • CW Network (50% ownership)

    • Infinity Broadcasting

    • Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)

    • Westwood One Radio Network

  • News Corporation

    • Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

    • Fox Television Stations

    • The New York Post

    • Fox Searchlight Pictures

    • Beliefnet

    • Fox Business Network

    • Fox Kids Europe

    • Fox News Channel

    • Fox Sports Net

    • Fox Television Network

    • FX

    • My Network TV

    • MySpace

    • News Limited News

    • Phoenix InfoNews Channel

    • Phoenix Movies Channel

    • Sky PerfecTV

    • Speed Channel

    • STAR TV India

    • STAR TV Taiwan

    • STAR World

    • Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine

    • Times Literary Supplement Magazine

    • Times of London

    • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

    • 20th Century Fox International

    • 20th Century Fox Studios

    • 20th Century Fox Television

    • BSkyB


    • The Wall Street Journal

    • Fox Broadcasting Company

    • Fox Interactive Media

    • FOXTEL

    • HarperCollins Publishers

    • The National Geographic Channel

    • National Rugby League

    • News Interactive

    • News Outdoor

    • Radio Veronica

    • ReganBooks

    • Sky Italia

    • Sky Radio Denmark

    • Sky Radio Germany

    • Sky Radio Netherlands

    • STAR

    • Zondervan

  • NBC Universal

    • Bravo

    • CNBC

    • NBC News

    • MSNBC

    • NBC Sports

    • NBC Television Network

    • Oxygen

    • SciFi Magazine

    • Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)

    • Telemundo

    • USA Network

    • Weather Channel

    • Focus Features

    • NBC Universal Television Distribution

    • NBC Universal Television Studio

    • Paxson Communications (partial ownership)

    • Trio

    • Universal Parks & Resorts

    • Universal Pictures

    • Universal Studio Home Video

These gigantic media corporations do not exist to objectively tell the truth to the American people. Rather, the primary purpose of their existence is to make money.

 These gigantic media corporations are not going to do anything to threaten their relationships with their biggest advertisers (such as the largest pharmaceutical companies that literally spend billions on advertising), and one way or another these gigantic media corporations are always going to express the ideological viewpoints of their owners.

Fortunately, an increasing number of Americans are starting to wake up and are realizing that the mainstream media should not be trusted.

According to a new poll just released by Gallup, the number of Americans that have little to no trust in the mainstream media (57%) is at an all-time high. That is one reason why we have seen the alternative media experience such rapid growth over the past few years.

The mainstream media has been losing credibility at a staggering rate, and Americans are starting to look elsewhere for the truth about what is really going on.

Sure there are a few courageous reporters in the mainstream media that manage to slip a few stories past their corporate bosses from time to time, but in general there is a very clear understanding that there are simply certain things that you just do not say in the mainstream news.

But Americans are becoming increasingly hungry for the truth, and they are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the dumbed down pablum that is passing as “hard hitting news” these days.

So what do you think about the state of the mainstream media?

RELATED POST:  6 Corporations That Control Your Perception


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