December 19, 2020
MAC Survey of Local Market News Content
As we consider whether the FCC should change the rules concerning how many local TV stations one company may license in one community, Media Action Center wanted to know how many local markets (Designated Market Areas or “DMAs”) already have one station group owning more than one Top Four (network affiliate) station. If so, in which markets, what size of markets, the minority population of those markets, and whether those stations offer the same or different local news on their two separate network affiliates.
Media Action Center researched this question to demonstrate that local news operations often result very similar, if not identical, news coverage on multiple TV stations in a single local market. These combinations are not adding anything to local news coverage in these communities.
Media Action Center volunteers researched the top ten largest TV Station groups in the country as defined by total revenue to provide such data. The data we produced is subject to some interpretation, but at least provides a snapshot for consideration. Volunteers reviewed websites, copyright information and local news reports to identify patterns. The Data Tables for every station group are provided below with hyperlinks for easy access for readers to independently review the findings. This research is not peer reviewed but does offer baseline information to illustrate the current state of local news in the communities studied.https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o7KjXrH2576Mm1vu6kW63hPvu41NKlZZ