Supreme Court Rules on Media Ownership

Jun 29, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court today let stand rules that place limits on ownership of broadcast outlets and newspapers in local markets. 

The high court ruling means that one company is forbidden from owning both a major newspaper and a t.v. station in the same market. Tim McGuire, chair of the journalism department at Arizona State University says he is surprised by the decision.

McGuire says the most obvious example of dual ownership in Arizona is Gannett Corporation which owns the Arizona Republic and Channel 12.

"I just don’t think they have monopoly power in Phoenix anymore that they once did," McGuire said.  " The court is rejecting that argument and is obviously still concerned about that sort of media power."

McGuire says its unclear to him if Gannett will be forced to divest itself of either the Republic or Channel 12.

"As I read the decision, I’d says its problematic for them. But they’ve been doing it for years," he said. "They have moved ahead. I don’t know how they’re doing that."

McGuire says that in his view, the proliferation of the Internet and other outlets for information has allayed any concerns about media monopolies.

Representatives of Gannett Corporation are unavailable for comment.