Do you long for a media empire to manipulate the masses and bend politicians to your will? Alas, those days are pretty much done thanks to web journalism. But 2013 could still offer would-be media moguls a chance to increase their power.
As news guru Ken Doctor notes in a Nieman blog post, the LA Times and Chicago Tribune are set to come on the block in 2013. Meanwhile, there are reliable rumors that the venerable Financial Times and part of The Economist will be shopped early next year too.
While news of the sales have been around for a while, they are made more interesting by Doctor’s prediction that regulators could relax cross-ownership rules that limit how many TV and newspaper properties a media titan can own in the same market. Here’s the key upshot from Doctor:
Today, though, most of the reporting power, much of the brand power, and the political power still resides in big companies and their leadership. We may well get our strongest display of that early in 2013: In Washington, the FCC cross-ownership debate may move to center stage in January.
It’s a pretty safe bet that the coming newspaper sales are beyond the reach of people not named Buffett, Bloomberg or Murdoch. More interesting will be five years from now — to see if the titles are still around and if, by then, companies like Twitter, Google or Facebook have media mogul aspirations of their own.
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