Going back a few steps to get back to the topic, Richard's description
of the earlier ownership limits is correct, and it provided for a system
like Tom described because even the networks could only own a very few
stations.  So over 95% of affiliates were independently owned, and they
could only own one per service in a city.  The downfall came in three
steps -- and I was there.  1) First the ownership limits were raised to
about 21 stations in each service -- AM, FM, and TV -- but still only
one per service in a city. 2)  Then the FCC did away with the
"Anti-Trafficking Rule" which required stations that were sold be held
by the new owners for two years before reselling.  This HAD stopped
speculating by profit mongers who would buy a company and strip its
assets for reselling.  I was in a meeting where Commissioner James
Quello castigated the other commissioners by saying "You are going to
see stations being bought and sold like pork bellies."  It was the 80s
and had protected stations from green-mailing, but then suddenly
stations were being trafficked for too high amounts that put them in
unpayable debts.  3) The third step was when the father of one of my
students who owned Jacor discovered that he could run TWO WLW-AMs in one
city by contracting 23 hours a day on a second Cincinnati AM station. 
When this became all the rage nationwide, the FCC gave up and removed
all ownership limits.  Jeff Jacobs's father sold Jacor to Clear Channel
and they proceeded to buy over 1,100 stations by over-leveraging most of
them.  The HUGE group ownership with few limits to how many stations in
each city they could run is what ruined American radio.  

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Radio
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, July 03, 2013 10:52 am
To: [log in to unmask]

Hi, Tom,

I think the ownership rules were very limited through the 1970s. IIRC, 
each network was allowed to own 7 AM, 7 FM, and 7 TV stations (5 VHF and

2 UHF). The networks did not feed all day. There were breaks.

There is an argument here about defunding the CBC and the egalitarian 
vs. "high brow" arguments have perpetually gone on. We actually have two

radio services from the 1980s and the "higher brow" one is no longer 
80%+ classical.

I've been investing in box sets the last two years.



On 2013-07-03 9:48 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
> If I had been in charge, I would have never allowed broadcast networks
> under centralized ownership in the first place, much less some sort of
> "government sez it's good for you" broadcast conglomerate. I'd have
> focused on protecting individual entities in each markets, but allowing
> them to share content (ie mutually fund programming, and everyone
> distribute it -- sort of like network programming via affiliates) for a
> certain number of their broadcast hours every day.