CBS Evening News for Thursday, Mar 31, 1977
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(Studio) "Washington "("DC) Star" newspaper announces trade of Washington, DC television station WMAL for KOCO in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and $65 million. Move results from recent prohibition of cross-ownership of television and for newspapers in same city.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(DC) Practice of cross-ownership explained; example is "Chicago Tribune" newspaper owns WGN television station and "New York Daily News", which in turn owns WPIX. National Citizens' Committee for Broadcasting chairperson Nicholas Johnson says this creates potential for monopoly on ideas. [JOHNSON - cites control such situation has over community.] United States Court of Appeals ordered Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules requiring such combinations to break up unless proof shown they serve public interest. Federal Communications Commission had been allowing existing ones to continue, but outlawed future combinations. [Federal Communications Commission chairperson Richard WILEY - doesn't believe cross-ownership really controls thought to such extent, especially in market like DC.] Federal Communications Commission has called for hearing with regard to WGAL-TV in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which is controlled by John F. Steinman family, who own all Lancaster's newspapers. Is only VHF station in area and reaches heart of Amish farmland; competition comes from UHF stations in York, Harrisburg and Lebanon, Pennsylvania, but these need special antennae to be received or subscription to local cable company, 60% owned by Steinmans. 2 years ago Feminists for Media Rights began complaints. [Group spokesperson Joyce PERRY - realized media owners here didn't have to worry with regard to public opinion as they had market sewed up.] Details with regard to Federal Communications Commission and court hearings on cross-ownership.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd