FCC rules prevent Murdoch’s News Corporation from owning print media in markets where “cross-ownership” exists — they already own two television stations in the LA area, KTTV and KCOP. In part,
Maureen A. O’Connell, News Corporation’s senior vice president for regulatory and government affairs…argued that regulators should dissolve the cross-ownership rule. “There can be little debate today that the newspaper industry faces existential threats,” Ms. O’Connell wrote in a Dec. 7 letter documenting a meeting with agency officials. “We urged the F.C.C. to eliminate the cross-ownership rule as a relic from a bygone era.”
Murdoch also owns Fox News, the only American media outlet which does a credible job of exposing the malfeasance and socialist leanings of the anti-liberty Obama administration, so that might not work in his favor either as he’s challenging the Messiah’s FCC for waivers which would allow News Corp. the Times’ acquisition.
This might work well, though, for the Orange County Register’s bold strategy in acquiring the Times and rebuilding its own media presence in southern California. Taking out a deep-pockets competitor like Murdoch, even though we’d think he might be the best thing that could ever happen to the liberal Times, could be very good news for Register owner Aaron Kushner. Kushner and his enterprise took a load of criticism this month with their tepid handling, and modifications, of the advertising policy when Jason Young, a local blogger, was barred from placing legal ads in the paper which honestly portrayed law breaking in Anaheim by city council members Kris Murray and Gail Eastman. We’d hope a more visible organization with wider responsibilities would rethink all that and act more in the interest of its subscribers and readers.
We’re still rooting for Kushner’s acquisition of an LA Times that went off the credibility cliff long ago, and has generally treated Orange County like a red-headed stepchild. Local ownership of it would make a world of difference to what was, long ago, a terrific newspaper. And we’d hope Kushner might also take a look at how we think he might cause both these papers to succeed in the 21st Century.