The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and ensuing radio ownership consolidation are blamed for harming radio localism and the public interest. Prior studies examined impacts attributed to consolidation on format diversity and other measures; however, none explored influences on listener perceptions. The present research sought to determine effects of local-market ownership concentration on listener opinions and use of radio—potentially indicative of stations’ localism and public service—by surveying listeners in markets categorized by ownership concentration levels. Findings suggest concentration does not strongly influence perceptions; however, overall results indicate potentially negative consequences from local and national consolidation on amounts of local music, news, and public-service programming; live-local programming; and station responsiveness. Findings suggest policy change that could enhance radio localism.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Radio broadcasting policy--United States--Public opinion; Radio audiences--United States--Attitudes; Mass media--Ownership--United States--Public opinion; Local mass media--United States; Radio stations--United States--Public opinion
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Communication (CLA)
Wallington, C. J.
Saffran, Michael J., "Effects of local-market radio ownership concentration on radio localism, the public interest, and listener opinions and use of local radio" (2008). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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