Hi everyone, Laurence Jarvik wrote: >Might I add that I call PBS a large media conglomerate in my book >PBS:BEHIND THE SCREEN (Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA) coming in paperback >at the end of February. Total revenues for the whole shebang and spinoffs >are over $2 billion annually. >Yanni, Barney, etc. >Funny how the cited references somehow skip that fact. You can also check >out PUBLIC BROADCASTING AND THE PUBLIC TRUST, a book I edited with David >Horowitz. To begin with, let me say that I absolutely agree that public broadcasting is still a visible and influential entity in this country and of course is worthy of study. However, the implied attack on recent critical sources about mega-media conglomerates I believe is unfair, and I think it is unfair for two reasons. First, although $2 billion is a significant figure, it is pretty small potatoes compared to the largest of media giants on this planet. To quote the Time-Warner Factbook, "The combined revenues of Time Warner Inc. and Time Warner Entertainment, L.P. were $20.9 billion in 1996, and combined earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were more than $4.29 billion." Likewise, The Walt Disney Company brought in revenues of $18.7 billion, with a profit of $1.5 billion, in 1996. Revenues for Bertelsmann in 1996 were $14.7 billion. Viacom brought in $12.1 billion in 1996. Sony, which includes the electronics firm as well as Sony-Columbia, earned $45.7 billion in 1996. Even media corporations without significant national broadcasting interests dwarf PBS. Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the US, made a 1996 profit of $ 943 million on revenues of $ 4.4 billion (all of the above information found on the companies' web sites). Second, at least two of the authors writing about mega-media conglomerates (and, I suspect, others) have written about the corporatization of public broadcasting. Pat Aufderheide (who does in fact discuss public broadcasting in the originally cited _Conglomerates and the Media_ book, see pages 166-170) has published articles critical of public broadcasting in _The Progressive_ and _Critical Studies in Mass Communication_. Bob McChesney's award-winning _Telecommunications, Mass Media, & Democracy_ lays the historical and critical foundation for a discussion of why commercial and public broadcast developed as they did in the US. Matt McAllister Department of Communication Studies, Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 24061-0311 USA ph: 540-231-9830 fax: 540-231-9817 e-mail: [log in to unmask] Department of Communication Studies at Virginia Tech Home Page: http://www.comm.vt.edu/ ---- Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the University of Alabama.