Sunday, November 5, 2017

Authors Promoting Books Will Suffer Under New Trump Regulations

No, I’m not talking about  President Donald Trump’s failed immigration policies, his failure to improve healthcare, or his  legitimization of fake news while undermining established media.  The latest Trump offense is that he’s allowing the FCC to dismantle a competitive balance of power in local journalism across the country.

What am I whining about this time?  A longstanding rule against consolidating the media could soon be lifted.  The new FCC chairman, under Trump, already changed how TV station owners count certain TV stations toward their national ownership caps.  As a result, more mergers and takeovers are unfolding.

Relaxing regulations on local TV ownership will spark a flurry of deal-making, effectively limiting the diversity of voices in the media.  Imagine a station in your city buying up another station.  Instead of having two, independent voices competing for attention, you now have one.  This not only injures true journalism, it limits the number of interview opportunities for authors.

More concentration of power means less diversity – and a loss of locally-generated content.

Here’s how the TV landscape looks at present:

Sinclair penetrates, 45.6% of all U.S. TV households Tegna Media is in 27.2%, NexStar in 25.7%, and Hearst in 13.3%.  Those numbers could easily grow -- nationally and within a specific market – once the FCC turns its back on a regulation intended to protect the public.

The trend in America is for consolidation.  It’s loved big box stores for decades and seems content with just a few dominant forces to run everything.  Our economy is at the mercy of five to six companies – Apple, Google, Facebook, Walmart, Exxon, Microsoft, and Amazon.  Everyone else is screwed.

But the traditional news media is not like any other product or service.  It is here to inform the public, question authority, raise issues, and provide a legit forum for debate and the exchange of ideas.  It’s the fourth estate -- the check on the judicial, executive, and legislative branches of government.  It’s also a check on the Internet.  Are we going to let it dwindle into nothing?

Authors and publishers need established media outlets to give their books attention and recognition, a legitimacy it can’t get elsewhere.  As the number of real media outlets shrinks or fall under conglomerate ownership, the book industry and America lose big time.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby

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