Do you want the media to be controlled by a few huge companies?  The future of media could be up to you.  Urge Senators Mike DeWine and George Voinovich to co-sponsor S.1046, a bill to overturn the FCC's new media ownership rules. Senators DeWine and Voinovich are part of a small number of Senators whose support is needed to ensure the passage of this important legislation in the Senate.

The new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules will allow one company to own a daily newspaper, as many as three television stations, and up to eight radio stations in some markets in Ohio.  This benefits the media giants at your expense.

We need your help.

1. Please sign the Ohio petition to encourage Senators DeWine and Voinovich to support the roll back of FCC rules that benefit only big media companies and negatively impact the diversity of voices in our democracy.  Click here:

2. Please forward this message to people in your community and help make this word-of-mouth campaign a success.  Click here:

Background on Media Ownership in Ohio

In 1996, the FCC lifted the ownership cap for radio stations and a selling spree of locally owned stations ensued.  Presently, the Ohio commercial radio market is dominated by Texas-based Clear Channel, California-based Disney Co., and New York-based Viacom, Inc.

The FCC's new rules will permit a few media giants to buy up more local television stations. If these out-of-state companies invade Ohio and buy up television stations like they did with radio stations, local news and programming will be greatly diminished.

Akron Beacon Journal reporter R.D. Heldenfels notes, "If a few companies control a large part of the media landscape, then their attitudes will prevail and other voices will be shut out. You can already see how that works in a couple of situations locally. One, which I mentioned in Monday's article, is the joint ownership of Cleveland TV stations WOIO (Channel 19) and WUAB (Channel 43). They are programmed somewhat differently -- Channel 19 is affiliated with CBS, and Channel 43 with UPN -- but their newscasts are interchangeable."

Ohio currently has 42 commercial television broadcast stations. The new FCC rules would allow one company to own 13, or 30% of the total, by having two stations in Cleveland, two in Cincinnati, two in Columbus, two in Dayton, two in Toledo, one in Lima, one in Youngstown, and one in Zanesville.

Or, the company could take advantage of the new rules allowing single entities to own television stations and daily newspapers in a single market. It could adjust its holdings to having two stations in Cleveland, two in Cincinnati, one station each in Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, Lima, Zanesville, and Youngstown, and daily newspapers in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown.

While 42 commercial stations sound like a lot, stations can be quickly swallowed up by large media companies, leaving almost no room for independent stations. Three companies combined could own six stations in Cleveland, four in Cincinnati, five in Columbus, five in Dayton, four in Toledo, three in Lima, three in Youngstown, and the one in Zanesville, leaving only 11 of the 42 left for smaller owners. Additionally, these three companies could own major daily newspapers in all of these cities except Lima and Zanesville.

It may come down to Senator DeWine's vote on whether the big media corporations win the fight to control the airwaves.  The big media groups have spent $124 million on political contributions and lobbying in Washington since 1995.  Don't let the big media companies win this fight. Join the growing public outcry over the new rules and voice your support for S. 1046.

Forward this message on to people in your community and help make this word-of-mouth campaign a success.  Click here: