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By [silences] atoyouma  Posted by (about the submitter)   7 comments
Some key findings:

â€" In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the
top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday
talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was

â€" Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are
broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive
talk â€" 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.

â€" 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets
is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.

Two common myths are frequently offered to explain the imbalance of
talk radio: 1) the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine (which
required broadcasters to devote airtime to contrasting views), and 2)
simple consumer demand. Each of these fails to adequately explain the
root cause of the problem. The report explains:

Our conclusion is that the gap between conservative and progressive
talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S.
regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public
trustee concept of broadcast, the elimination of clear public
interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of
ownership rules including the requirement of local participation in
management. […]

Ultimately, these results suggest that increasing ownership
diversity, both in terms of the race/ethnicity and gender of owners,
as well as the number of independent local owners, will lead to more
diverse programming, more choices for listeners, and more owners who
are responsive to their local communities and serve the public

Along with other ideas, the report recommends that national radio
ownership not be allowed to exceed 5 percent of the total number of
AM and FM broadcast stations, and local ownership should not exceed
more than 10 percent of the total commercial radio stations in a
given market.



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