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Low ratings could end cable deal for Gore's Current TV

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22 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:13 AM

There are still plenty of news and commentary channels that, while not equally popular, are still popular enough to earn their keep and be worthy of space on cable and satellite. Somebody is watching. CurrentTV just isn't attracting enough people.

And for channels that are not popular enough to earn their way on (to DBS) they can buy their way on if they are non-commercial and willing to pay a low monthly rate. That is how channels like "Free Speech TV" and "Russia Today" made it on DISH (along with a lot of other channels classified as "Public Interest").

It isn't the FCC who is deciding that CurrentTV shouldn't be on TWC ... it is the viewers of TWC. The FCC, Congress and politics have nothing to do with it.

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#22 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:48 AM

Exactly my point, they SHOULD have something to do with it. News depts. on nets were never supposed to make money, they were a public service. Part of what allowed the nets to keep their license. Then the FCC allowed the news depts. to be moved into entertainment and have to turn a profit. That's how we ended up in this vast wasteland of non-journalism. Corporate managed news-lite. Journalism need not apply.

So news nets (running mainly op-ed shows) should have to earn their way on TV via audience numbers leading to ad revenues leading to profit? If that was the case, Fox News would have been drummed off the air in 1996. Fox News was a paid propaganda machine from the getgo, it lost $90 mil a year for the first 5 years. No problem, it wasn't set up to make money, it was set up to spread a specific political message. Profit be damned. It was funded by guys with deep pockets to brainwash the masses. Not a news org by any stretch of the imagination.

Should billionaires' money machines be allowed to control what we see of world events, and what we know of candidates? Too late now, it's already happened.

In a free market news environment, Fox News could never have survived. It was force-fed to America by almost half a billion dollars from politically-motivated fatcats.

In a world where only the mega-rich control the media, only the interests of the mega-rich will be served by the media. And that's exactly where we're headed, at about light speed.

Non-billionaire-subsidized orgs like Current and MSNBC don't stand a chance against the Kochs and the Murdochs and the Marvin Davises pumping endless supplies of cash into hand-picked media operations specifically designed to propagate a political message favorable to their interests. One has to survive on its own merits, the other has merely to survive on illegal wiretap-sourced scandal stories and big oil money. While the FCC just twiddles its thumbs and looks the other way.

Edited by Maruuk, 27 April 2012 - 03:58 AM.


#23 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:11 AM

In a free market news environment, Fox News could never have survived.


It was precisely free market capitalism that has allowed Fox News to thrive. No matter what your opinion is of their product, Fox News is a hugely profitable and popular service.

I think what you're arguing for is a return to the mid-20th century notion that radio & TV news divisions should essentially be allowed to run at break-even or at a loss and be subsidized by the entertainment divisions. That might be quant, but it isn't free market.

If you look at the larger and more historical picture of the news, Fox's style is more the norm than the exception. The US and Europe has a long tradition of opinionated and hyped newspapers, radio and TV. Just think of terms like "yellow journalism", "gutter press", and the like. Newspapers have a far longer history of political activism (both left and right) than they do of some notion of absolutely unbiased.

Today we have a nearly endless variety of news and information sources. Though traditional print media is declining, we have more and more tv news and the internet. For every Fox News there is an MSNBC or an Al Jazera or BBC News.

And the internet has given the individual or small group far more ability to get their voices heard, rather than having a few select people controlling all the media outlets. Look at groups like Anonymous, the twitterverse and Julian Assange.

In a free and open market you get the good with the bad. The joy is that you get to decide which is which and not have someone make the choice for you.
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