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Monday, March 25, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters for America.

President-elect Donald Trump may be preparing to give Rupert Murdoch a big reward for the positive coverage Murdoch’s outlets provided during the election.

Trump has asked Murdoch to submit the names of possible nominees for Federal Communications Commission chairman, according to a report from New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman. Trump’s FCC will be positioned to roll back regulations that have kept Murdoch from buying up newspapers and television stations across the country.

The two New York City-based moguls historically dislike one another, and Murdoch repeatedly criticized Trump in the early stages of the campaign and reportedly pressured Fox News to be more critical when covering Trump.

But after Trump sewed up the Republican nomination, Murdoch reportedly “signaled he plans to fully back Trump in the general election against Hillary Clinton” in order to ensure “an open line to the new administration” if Trump won. They subsequently dined together during Trump’s June trip to Scotland, and Murdoch made a pilgrimage to Trump Tower following the election.

Now Murdoch reportedly has the opportunity to cash in on the overwhelmingly positive coverage that his properties — including Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post — gave the incoming president.

Murdoch has repeatedly been prevented from adding more newspapers to his media empire by FCC “cross-ownership” rules that restrict common ownership of broadcast TV and radio stations and newspapers in the same media market. The rules are intended to prevent consolidation of too much media power in too few hands. Media companies are also barred from owning television stations across the nation that collectively reach more than 39 percent of U.S. television households, and from owning two stations in a local media market if both stations are ranked in the top four in that market.

By law, the FCC must review those rules every four years. After a years-long review process, the FCC board, composed of President Obama’s nominees, voted to retain the rules in 2016. Under Trump, all of those rules will be on the table for repeal.

While Murdoch is far from the only head of a media company to oppose the cross-ownership rules, he has been among their fiercest opponents for decades. Those rules forced him to sell The New York Post in 1988, and he would be a major beneficiary of their elimination.

Through 21st Century Fox, Murdoch currently owns 28 television stations in 17 markets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando and Charlotte. His stations reach roughly 37 percent of U.S. television households, just under the FCC’s cap. If that cap is changed or eliminated under Trump, Murdoch would be able to purchase more stations and increase his impact on the media landscape.

That matters because stations owned by 21st Century Fox frequently push the same conservative slant in their broadcasts as the Fox News cable channel does, often running the same news packages and hosting the same personalities.

Cross-ownership rules have also prevented Murdoch from purchasing newspapers in the media markets where he owns television stations (he has a waiver to own the Post now, and his ownership of The Wall Street Journal is not subject to the rule because it is considered a national paper). In 2014, Murdoch complained that he was unable to purchase the Los Angeles Times or the Tribune Company because cross-ownership restrictions prevented him from owning papers in Chicago or Los Angeles since he already owned TV stations in those markets. He also dropped his 2008 bid for Newsday amid reports that the seller was concerned Murdoch would not be able to get a waiver to allow the deal to go through.

If a Trump FCC changes or eliminates the cross-ownership rules, Murdoch may be able to snap up papers across the country. In the years after Murdoch purchased the Journal in 2007, dozens of journalists fled the paper, with many telling Media Matters that its coverage had shifted to the right and away from more in-depth reporting.

Staffers were particularly disturbed when Gerard Baker, a well-known conservative columnist for Murdoch’s The Times of London, was installed as the paper’s deputy editor-in-chief in 2009. Baker was promoted to editor-in-chief in 2013. Baker reportedly urged editors to be “fair” to Trump at a May morning news meeting; in October, the paper’s reporters criticized their own election coverage, telling Politico they had produced “galling,” “flattering” pro-Trump “stories on the front [page]” and the “false balance in treating him just like another nominee” was “absurd.”

If Trump gives Murdoch his reward, we could see the same pattern play out in media markets nationwide.

IMAGE: Sarah Wasko/Media Matters

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25 responses to “Donald Trump Could Make Rupert Murdoch Even More Powerful”

  1. dbtheonly says:

    Has everyone forgotten Murdoch’s phone hacking scandals in tne UK?

    If Murdoch winds up owning just about everything; does that mean we can finally quit hearing about the “Liberal Media”? Would it be worth it?

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  2. A dysfunctional Murdoch and his diabolical empire being given a boost by another diabolical and dysfunctional entity, Donald J. Trump—Now there’s an Axis of Evil if ever there were one.

    • mike says:

      The sky is falling. The sky is falling.
      Trump asked for suggestions, that doesn’t say he will act on them. The FCC can not have more than 3 members from one party on the 5 member board. Whoever he picks doesn’t change or guarantee anyone or anything other than he will have a majority of republicans. So quit getting your panties in a wad.

      • Independent1 says:

        Exactly what is it that you right-wing trolls hope to gain from a Trump presidency and GOP take over??

        That they may well defund Planned Parenthood which will increase abortions (studies have proven more abortions happen where they’re band and illegal) and will also most likely result in more women dying from a botched abortion. Is that going to help you in some way?

        Or that they will trash Obamacare and maybe Medicare, not only substantially suppressing the economy but also allowing thousands more people (maybe you) to die (prematurely) younger than you may otherwise (you could well get a heart attack or be in an accident and not be taken to a hospital in time to save you simply because like in many red states hospitals are going belly up due to giving away too much free healthcare). Is the potential of dying young going to help you?

        Or that they may trash Social Security throwing millions more people into the homeless ranks; further dampening the economy. Is it seeing more people suffering without homes and dying under bridges – does that help you in some way?

        Or that they may totally abolish all the laws that are now in some way holding down the pollution from companies such that America’s air and water get ever more polluted and more people start dying from pollution related diseases – maybe even you. Is that going to help you in some way?

        Or that they may enact a national right-to-work-law so even more states increase the ranks of those living in poverty without health insurance or the government support they need to stay alive so that squaler becomes the norm and more and more people die because of neglect. Is that somehow going to help you as you travel around? Seeing more people in misery?

        Or that they may enact even more lax gun laws so the rampant violence and gun deaths that permeate the red states expands across the nation and instead of 30,000+ dying from guns each year gun deaths (maybe including years) reach 50,000. Is that going to help you.

        And given all the dumbing down of the economy that will likely come about with millions losing jobs and companies going belly up – maybe the ones you work for; and just to turn the knife a little more, those corrupt GOP politicians decide that people don’t need unemployment payments either. Is all that going to help you??

        Am I painting a good enough picture for you – because everything I just posted may well come to pass given the evilness and corruption of the people Trump is stacking his administration with.

        So what is it that you think Trump and the nitwits in the GOP Congress are going to do for you – other than set you up to die years younger than you had previously been destined to???

        • mike says:

          What I do know is your hysteria continues on every subject but without an ounce of truth or fact.
          Just more of your delusional and brain dead assumptions. You and the rest of your ilk are turning yourselves inside out over something that has never even happened.
          He’s not president, YET!
          Changes will happen but even you have no concrete evidence of what they will look like. You were positive Hillary would win and you were wrong. But you know for a fact trump will do everything you think he will do. How ridiculous an asinine.

          • Do you have concrete evidence, or do you just swallow whatever Trump says or says he will do?
            Yes, change always happens, but with Trump the wrong kind is already happening, even before he is crowned America’s first de facto Emperor.

          • mike says:

            LOL!
            Panties still in a wad. No credible evidence but so positive you know all.
            What’s the countdown T-15.

          • Fantasizing about panties a lot lately. Are you trying to tell us something? Maybe a return trip to the Red Light District will give you a boost.

          • mike says:

            Nice try no cigar!
            As we know the left is turning themselves inside out, twisting themselves into pretzels and last but not least getting their panties in a wad over Trumps victory.
            T-15

          • Independent1 says:

            Do you still have your head up your butt? Or maybe you haven’t gotten out of your trailer lately. Or maybe you don’t get 500 emails a day like I do with pleadings from one social group after another for help in preventing the new GOP Congress from destroying every social and environmental advancement made by America in the past 100 years. You must have your head up your butt too far if you question even one of my examples in the above post.

            Here’s a headline from a right-wing rag named Blabber Buzz:

            Speaker Paul Ryan Promises: We Will Pass a Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood

            Here’s another from Blabber Buzz:

            National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill in 115th Congress

          • mike says:

            Tell me about the vote. When and results.
            Obamacare will be appealed. Nothing new. It is has been a lie from day one and a disaster.
            Planned parenthood will be hard to defund because of all the Medicaid.
            Concealed weapon reciprocity I. Haven’t read. We will see.
            Yes the changes are coming and some necessary even the wall. Get ready to turn yourself inside out over all you can’t control.
            Now you seem to be ignoring my earlier post and effect of gerrymandering on the election of senators and governors. What role does gerrymandering play in
            the election in senate and governors races. That was your argument as to why Obama lost so much in 6 short years. You know the House, the Senate, WH, 12 governorship and close to a 1000 democratic state legislative seats.

          • Independent1 says:

            And talking about delusional; you suggesting Obamacare has been a lie and a disaster is one of the biggest lies that you’ve ever told.

            Here’s just the tip of the iceberg:

            -100,000 plus Americas alive today who would be dead had ACA not been enacted . (See drastically reduced readmission rates below).
            -America attaining the lowest level of uninsured citizens in the history of our country.
            -Hospitals across the nation saving well over 10 billion dollars because of far less free healthcare given away.
            -States that have embraced ACA saving billions of taxpayer dollars due to drastically reduced reimbursements to hospitals.
            -Numerous hospitals in states that have embraced ACA not going belly up like in GOP states that didn’t embrace ACA.
            -Hospitals across the nation in states that embraced ACA or at least expanded Medicaid making higher profits because of far less free healthcare given away.
            -Well over 100,000 new jobs created across the nation due to the improved cleanliness and healthcare improvements ACA has required hospitals provide.
            -30 million Americans with healthcare they could afford who previously either struggled to pay their premiums or had no insurance at all.
            -Millions of Americans who had previously denied insurance because of a preexisting condition now insured and not needing free healthcare should they incur an accident or illness
            -Significant improvements made to America’s healthcare delivery system across the nation which has resulted in dramatically reduced readmission rates where hundreds of thousands of Americans had previously been dying each year because they caught a disease while in the hospital that was bad enough it killed them.

          • mike says:

            Obamacare is Based on a number of lies Obama told to the American. Keep you doctor, keep your plan, low premiums. erc. All lies!
            It is imploding as we speak.
            If you think otherwise you are either the dumbest person ever or an outright liar or certifiable nuts. More than likely all three!

            Does gerrymandering have anything to do with the election of Senate or governors. Yes or No!

          • Independent1 says:

            Every word is a pathological lie!!!!!!! Obama lied about nothing!!! It was health insurance companies who perpetrated the lie!!!!!!!!

          • Independent1 says:

            Obamacare’s success is based on the facts that I just posted. And Obama never lied about anything!! He simply told the American people what was in the Obamacare legislation – that existing plans including doctors were grandfathered in by the legislation.

            And he made those statements about keeping your doctor and plan because when more than half a dozen health insurance company CEOs met with him during the development of ACA, they promised they would adhere to the ACA law BUT THEY LIED!!

            And all those companies coming out changing plans so people couldn’t keep their doctor or plan, was an attempt by the insurance companies to defraud their insureds and force them to pick new policies, hopefully ones with higher premiums.

            And several insurance companies were penalized for this fraudulent practice and charged millions of dollars in penalties.

          • mike says:

            How ridiculous. The insurance companies are the fault.
            So the insurance companies told POTUS and the Democratic Congress this is the way Obamacare will work.

            You are mentally insane.

            Yes or No! Does gerrymandering have anything to do with the election of Senators or Governors?

          • Independent1 says:

            And if you don’t think Obamacare is a success, why is it that when one of Trumps transition team people polled the public about repealing ACA via her twitter account – 84% of those responding said DON’T REPEAL ACA!!!!!!!!

            See this moron!! And I’m going to start calling you exactly what your are A TOTAL MORON!!!!

            With Republicans convinced they need to repeal Obamacare ASAP but unsure of how they want to replace it, Rep. Marsha Blackburn issued a public plea for help on Tuesday. The Tennessee Republican—and member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team—asked the Twitter masses to take a poll on whether they like the law. Turns out Blackburn’s followers are pretty big fans of the Affordable Care Act, with 84 percent of the 7,968 votes opposing a repeal of Obamacare.

          • Independent1 says:

            But since when have the crooks in the GOP ever done what the American public wanted?? Even when almost 90% of the American people were in favor of improving background checks for gun purchases, the GOP idiots chose just once more of
            many times not to do what the American people wanted.

            So even though way more than 50% of Americans do not want ACA repealed – who knows what these taxpayer robbers in Congress like Ryan and McConnell will do – it’s whatever their crooked billionaire puppet masters want them to do so they can also steal more taxpayer dollars by getting favorable tax legislation letting them pay even more unfair taxes – or paying no taxes at all like Trump has for the past 20 years.

          • Independent1 says:

            My only consolation IS THAT YOU ARE GOING TO SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!!!!!!

          • mike says:

            You really are one of the most dishonest, cowardly, liars ever.
            So I guess from your silence that gerrymandering has no effect in senate and governor races.

          • Independent1 says:

            A pathological lying right-winger who can’t prove one thing he posts claims I’m dishonest?? Wow !! that really is the joke of the century!!

      • Mike, you’re going to have to grow up sooner or later. You just can’t go on in life at this late stage acting like a child with a Peter Pan syndrome.
        Jumping to defend Trump and Murdoch shows an abnormal infatuation—like some bizarre form a puppy love. This is an obvious sign of a clinical dysfunction requiring professional counseling which you and Trump should take advantage of.

        • mike says:

          Your panties are in a wad over nothing.
          Keep trying.
          So you know for sure Murdoch suggestions were used. Right?
          Typical of your ilk you have no information who is on the list but it gives more access to Trump.
          Childish is your jumping to conclusions on things that haven’t even happened.
          No, only in your mind the sky is falling.

  3. mike says:

    More Trump hysteria.
    No one wants to talk about obama’s attempt at blocking Trump with renomination of Rosenworcel after she failed last year.
    The FCC cannot have more than 3 members of one party. So quite getting your panties in a wad.
    Trump wants names. Big deal. No guarantee any will be accepted them. What is evident is the FCC will leaning to the right. Just another consequence of the failed policies of Obama and worthless candidate Hillary.

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