A Journal of America's Political Soul Heaven & Earth: Where Politics and Spirituality Meet
March 20, 2023  
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Issue No. 9 - Heaven & Earth
F E A T U R E S :

New » From Darkness, Awakening

New » On Morality

New » On Courage

Spirit Matters:
G&G Interviews Michael Lerner

We Still Need a Religious Left

9/11 and the American Empire:
How Should Religious People Respond?

Saving Fundamentalists From the Religious Right

The Dark Jesus: Spiritual Imagery Inspires Change and Heals Racism

Will We Choose To Survive?

A Sneak-Peak Interview with the Messiah

G&G Arts - Essay
Whose Good? Who's Evil?

Resources for Big Media

Giants Still Growing | Who Owns Who | Dig Deeper


Giants Still Growing

"A specter now haunts the world," says media critic Robert McChesney. "A global commercial media system dominated by a small number of super-powerful, mostly U.S.-based transnational media corporations works as a system to advance the cause of the global market and promote commercial values, while denigrating journalism and culture not conducive to the immediate bottom line."

In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of news media in the U.S. At the time, Ben Bagdikian was called "alarmist" for pointing this out in his book, The Media Monopoly. In the book's 4th edition, published in 1992, he updated this number: "In the U.S. fewer than two dozen of these extraordinary creatures now own and operate 90% of the mass media." He predicted then that the number of these corporations -- which control almost all of America's newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies -- would fall to about half a dozen. This was greeted immediately with skepticism, but when the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had indeed fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and their scope has expanded to include the Internet. More than 1 in 5 Internet users in the U.S. now logs in with AOL Time-Warner, the world's largest media corporation.


Who Owns Who

A mere six supra-national corporations control most of what we Americans hear, read, and watch. Following is a sampling of the dominion of the big 6 -- AOL/Time-Warner, Disney, General Electric, Viacom, News Corporation, and Bertelsmann.

1.  AOL/Time-Warner owns...

  • WB television network
  • CNN
  • CNN International, CNN-SI, CNNfn, Headline News, etc.
  • TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, Turner Movies
  • HBO, Cinemax, CourtTV
  • Warner Bros Cinema
  • New Line Cinema
  • Castle Rock Entertainment
  • America Online
  • Compuserve
  • Netscape
  • ICQ
  • 31 Magazines: Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, Business 2.0, Money, Southern Living, AsiaWeek, DC Comics, Mad Magazine, etc.
  • Time-Life Books (world's 2nd largest book publishing business)
  • Warner Music Group, including 22 labels: Elektra, Atlantic, Sire, etc.
  • Six Flags Theme Park Chain
  • Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves professional sports teams.
  • Stake in PrimeStar satellite TV service
  • New York Cable Group
  • Over 150 retail stores
  • Much more...

2.   Disney owns...

  • ABC television network
  • ABC stations - 10 major market TV stations
  • 21 major market radio stations
  • The Disney Channel
  • ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, etc.
  • Lifetime, A&E, History Channel, E!
  • Walt Disney Pictures
  • Touchstone Pictures
  • Hollywood Pictures
  • Caravan Pictures
  • Miramax Films
  • Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • Buena Vista International
  • Hyperion Books
  • Miramax Books
  • Chilton and Fairchild magazine and newspaper publishing
  • Hollywood Records
  • Mammoth Records
  • Magazines: Discover, Automotive Industries, Family Fun, Jane, JCK, etc.
  • NFL.com, NBA.com
  • Disneyland - Anaheim, CA
  • Disney-MGM Studios
  • Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Walt Disney World - Orlando, FL
  • Tokyo Disneyland (partial ownership)
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • The Disney Institute
  • Much more...

3.   General Electric owns...

  • NBC television network
  • NBC stations - 14 major market TV Stations
  • CNBC (with Dow Jones)
  • MSNBC (with Microsoft)
  • Telemundo Communications Group
  • Prime Network, Bravo, AMC, Independent Film Channel
  • Harcourt General - insurance
  • Northern Telecom Finance Corp.
  • Financial Guaranty Insurance Company
  • Union Fidelity Life Insurance
  • GE Aircraft Engines
  • CFM International
  • Monogram, Profile, RCA, Hotpoint appliances
  • Electrical Distribution and Control
  • GE Plastics
  • Transportation Systems - locomotives
  • Medical Systems (x-ray, MRI equipment)
  • Power Systems - manufacture of gas, steam, hydroelectric, turbines, and nuclear fuel
  • Industrial Control Systems (motors, controllers, automation equipment)
  • Information Services - E-Commerce
  • GE Americom, Inc. Satellite/Communications
  • Ameridata Technologies - international business/computer products and consulting
  • CompuNet Computer AG - communication technologies (Germany)
  • GE Long Distance Service
  • Much more...

4.   VIACOM owns...

  • CBS television network
  • CBS Stations - 14 major market TV stations
  • Paramount Stations Group- 20 overlapping major market TV stations
  • CBS.com
  • CBS RADIO - Infinity Broadcasting - Over 100 major market radio stations
  • UPN
  • The Paramount Channel
  • MTV
  • VH1
  • Nickelodeon
  • BET - Black Enteratinment Television
  • Comedy Central
  • Showtime
  • The Movie Channel
  • FLIX
  • TNN: The National Network
  • CMT: Country Music Television
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Viacom Productions
  • Wilshire Court Productions
  • Spelling Entertainment Group
  • Blockbuster Video, Blockbuster Music
  • Paramount Amusement Park Chain
  • Star Trek
  • Lisa Drew Books
  • The Free Press
  • Simon & Schuster Books
  • Pocket Books
  • Scribner
  • United Cinemas International (UCI) (joint venture with Universal)
  • World Wrestling Entertainment
  • Much more...

5.   News Corporation owns...

  • Fox television network
  • Fox Television Stations - 30 major market TV stations
  • Fox News
  • FX
  • Fox Sports Net channels
  • Twentieth Century Fox Films
  • Twentieth Television
  • SkyGlobal Network, The Health Network, The Computer Channel
  • HarperCollins Books Publishers (17 imprints)
  • Cliff Street Books
  • The Ecco Press
  • Regan Books
  • Morrow/Avon Books
  • Magazines: The Weekly Standard, Cable Guide, TV Guide
  • The New York Post
  • Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Knicks, New York Rangers (20 percent stake), Los Angeles Kings (NHL, 40% option), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA, 9.8% option)
  • Staples Center (40% owned by Fox/Liberty)
  • News America New Media
  • Fox Sports Radio Network
  • Huge International Media holdings in Australia, Asia, and Europe
  • Much more...

6.   Bertelsmann owns...

  • Random House Publishing Group
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • Ballantine Publishing Group
  • Del Rey Books
  • Other imprints: Delacorte, Island, Crown, Fawcett, Ivy, One World, Wellspring, Crimeline, Domain, etc.
  • Three Rivers Press
  • Doubleday Religious Publishing, The Knopf Publishing Group, Everyman's Library, Pantheon Books, Vintage Anchor Publishing, Wendy Lamb Books
  • Fodor's Travel Publications
  • Living Language
  • ebrary
  • Xlibris
  • barnesandnoble.com - joint venture with Barnes & Noble
  • Magazines: Family Circle, Inc., American Homestyle, YM Magazine, Child, etc.
  • BMG Music (Labels and Clubs)
  • Other labels: Arista Records, RCA, Victor, BMG Classics
  • Windham Hill Group
  • Bugjuice, Peeps Republic, Twang This!
  • Sonopress - CD manufacturers in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa
  • Tremendous European TV and magazine ownership
  • Much more...


Dig Deeper

More Information on Corporate Media Ownership...

More on Media Reform...

More on Internet / Open Access / Digital Divide...

Thanks to www.corporations.org/media and the Columbia Journalism Review, who provided much of this information.

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