Radio homogenization is a trend towards similar programming within broadcast radio in the United States. It is partially a result of the conglomeration of radio companies, particularly after the enactment of the now controversial Telecommunications Act of 1996. The bill relaxed regulations that limited ownership of radio stations, and subsequently their ownership became greatly consolidated. A number of the resulting large radio companies have been accused of broadcasting less new music, emulating a same-ness on the airwaves. Consolidation has allowed bigger companies to transition to a more profitable nationalized target marketing model, forcing local independent radio stations to adjust to the financial realities of their competitors. Corporate interests tend to favor the cost benefits of efficiency, however consolidation is reported to have significant effects on overall radio programming in the US.
1 Background of corporate consolidation
1.2 Clear Channel
1.3 Recorded music
2.2 Musical diversity
2.3 National advertising model
2.4 Declining local ownership
3.1 Satellite radio
3.2 Low-power FM stations
3.3 Other media
4 Paradigm shift
5 See also
Background of corporate consolidation
The 1996 Telecommunications Act removed all national and local restrictions on national ownership that specified the number of stations one company could own in a set market. Before 1996, a company was prohibited from owning more than 40 stations, and from owning more than two AM and two FM stations in one market. The bill covered a wide range of formats and was the first time the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment.
The federal government has regulated the extent of ownership for radio stations since the 1934 Communications Act. The policy was based on the notion that the airwaves were accessible to the public and therefor had an accompanying public trust. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began to relax these limitations.
Lydia Polgreen’s research indicates that the 1996 Telecommunications Act was one of the most lobbied bills in history. Media interests spent $34 million on campaign contributions for the 1995–96 election cycle – nearly 40% more than the previous election. Martin Scherzinger claims the public was mostly uninformed of potential consequences, as “the media covered the Tele