The recent post on the increasing vertical integration of the film industry got
me thinking about the FOX/New World stock transaction, where FOX acquired a 20%
(non-voting) stake in New World Communications, and picked up 12 new affiliate
broadcast stations in the bargain.
What the mainstream press has yet to mention is how the deal furthers the
vertical integration of Murdoch/FOX: New World, in addition to being a station
group, owns production facilities (they were the producer of _Santa Barbara_),
a syndicator (Genesis), a media research firm, and other media-related
businesses. And with the virtual elimination of the fin/syn rules in 1995,
the other major networks have even more incentive to become more fully
My suspicion is that as the US media/film conglomerates all become more fully
vertically integrated and self-contained, the whole issue of the vertical
integration of the industry will finally be revisited by the Justice Department.
At minimum, as media scholars, we live in interesting times. And it makes the
teaching of intro media courses increasingly challenging.
Department of Communication Arts
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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