Monday, July 26, 2004

Never Enough Capitalist Capitalists Department

"When you lose small businesses, you lose big ideas." -- Ted Turner

The quote above is from an essay Ted Turner wrote on media consolidation. Yes, that's right, the founder of CNN and the Turner empire of cable stations--starting with the Atlanta Superstation nearly 30 years ago--dares to speak on FCC regulations and the concentration of media in few hands.

And, as you can see from the quote, he's not fond of the current landscape. He strongly prefers a landscape where small businesses can become great through their own hard work and creativity, and not through endless cannibalization of other businesses. He even points out, with a nice twist of irony, that Rupert Murdoch wouldn't have reached the point where he can cannibalize other media outlets if it weren't for FCC rules in the first few decades after WWII which encouraged television outside of major corporate control. And he mourns the loss of innovation which has resulted from the loosening of FCC rules on ownership.

If Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch were ever put into a boxing ring and made to fight to the end, I'd bet my money on Ted. He's got a soul, and that means he can fight with more on his mind than the next million-dollar deal or tax break. Bless him.

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