Who Owns The Media?

There we are again, watching the news or reading an article. No matter which news outlet we tune into, we really get the same story, don’t we? One news outlet spins it left, one spins it right, but in the end, they all talk about the same subject.

Whether or not we realize it, the subject matter and the ensuing spin leads us to think, believe, and vote a certain way. It also leads us to purchase certain products and services. This all has a profound effect on us and society as a whole.

We are not just tuning into news.

We are tuning into television programming that persuades us to accept the worldview being promoted by the media we are listening to.

When we think about it, the media steers our mind, perhaps to an extent many of us do not comprehend. With such implications, shouldn’t we question the media?

Shouldn’t we ask the question, who owns the media?

Who Owns The Mainstream Media?

To an overwhelming degree, billionaire families and governments own the largest media firms. In fact, that is what Harvard found when they researched media ownership in 97 nations around the world.

The Harvard paper concludes by stating,

We find that media firms nearly universally have ownership structures with large controlling shareholders and that these shareholders are either families or governments.

This evidence is broadly consistent with the ideas that there is large amenity potential (control benefits) associated with owning media—be it political influence or fame.

So it’s not only me who believes, owning media provides large “control benefits”. 

Such benefits are obtained by persuading an audience to think and believe a certain way. To promote one political candidate or cause over another, while also painting another candidate or cause in a negative light. Not to mention, promoting certain products and services that may also benefit the media owner.

Yet, some media outlets have slogans such as, “fair and balanced” and “the most trusted name in news”, but are they?

I would say, “No”.

I will explain more on that later.

Yet, for most people, their answer would depend on their beliefs, which means, it’s subjective to the viewer, but that’s not reality.

With that now laid out, we are going to list some of the largest media firms in the United States based on their audience size. This will include ownership level information. Then we pick back up by discussing Media Consolidation below.

The Corporate Media Conglomerates

In addition to listing the largest media firms, we break these firms down to the ownership level, and provide other relevant details from public records. We should also note, most of these firms own numerous companies and entertainment divisions.

A portion of the following comes from a list created by The Future of Media Project.

Who Owns Fox News?

The CEO of Fox News is Suzanne Scott.

Fox News is owned by the Fox Corporation.

Rupert Murdoch owns 39% of the shares for Fox Corp and he is the Chairman and CEO. Murdoch is an Australian conservative and once stated he is Christian. However, in 2016 Murdoch urged Michael Bloomberg to run for President.

We should note, the Murdoch family also owns News Corp (39% share) which owns; the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the London Times, HarperCollins, and numerous major media outlets in Australia.

Other top shareholders include; The Vanguard Group, Inc. (13.05%), Independent Franchise Partners LL.. (7.76%), Yacktman Asset Management LP (5.55%), BlackRock Fund Advisors (4.99%).

Who Owns CNN?

The CEO of CNN is Jeff Zucker.

CNN is owned by WarnerMedia who is owned by AT&T.

Some of AT&Ts biggest shareholders include; Randall L. Stephenson, John J. Stephens, and John T. Stankey, CEO. Other top shareholders include; The Vanguard Group, Inc. (7.43%), BlackRock Fund Advisors (4.85%), and SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (4.13%).

Who Owns E.W. Scripps?

The CEO of E.W. Scripps is Adam Symson.

E.W. Scripps is owned by the Scripps family.

E. W. Scripps owns 60 local TV stations in 41 markets which reaches 100 million homes. Warren Buffet helped fund E.W. Scripps in their acquisition of ION media.

Who Owns ABC News?

The President of ABC News is Kimberly Godwin.

ABC News is owned by ABC, who is owned by Walt Disney Television, who is owned by Disney Media Networks, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company.

The largest shareholder of The Walt Disney Company is the Laurene Powell Jobs Trust. She inherited these shares from her late husband, Steve Jobs. Other major shareholders of Disney include; Robert A. Iger, Disney Chairman; Christine McCarthy, Disney Senior Executive Vice President and CFO; Alan Braverman, Disney Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel.

Other top shareholders include; The Vanguard Group, Inc. (7.66%), BlackRock Fund Advisors (4.36%) and SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (4.11%).

Who Owns NBC News?

The President of NBC News is Noah Oppenheim.

NBC News is owned by NBCUniversal which also owns; CNBC, MSNBC, and Vox. NBCUnivsersial is owned by Comcast.

Brain L. Roberts is Chairman and CEO of Comcast. The Roberts family has super-voting shares of Comcast. While the three biggest shareholders are; The Vanguard Group, Inc (8.11%), Capital Research & Management Co. (4.57%), BlackRock Fund Advisors (4.26%).

Who Owns CBS News?

The co-Presidents of CBS News are Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon.

CBS is owned by CBS Corporation which is owned by National Amusements. The same company who owns the Viacom group of businesses.

The National Amusements Chair is Shari Redstone. National Amusements is a Redstone family holding company. Other top shareholders include; The Vanguard Group, Inc. (10.19%), Credit Suisse Securities (USA) (6.25%), BlackRock Fund Advisors (6.21%).

That rounds up the most viewed and recognized media outlets in the United States.

Honorable Mention

The AP and Reuters are other major names in media, but they are much further down on The Future of Media Project's list in audience reach.

Reuters is owned by the Canadian Thompson family, while the AP is an independent news cooperative comprised of U.S. newspapers and broadcasters; ie: some of the companies mentioned above.

Online Media

In terms of website traffic, Wikipedia ranked number one on this list, though it's not a news outlet. Google was their biggest donor in 2020 along with the Wojcicki Foundation. The largest donors to its endowment was Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

Other major donors include Google.org, Amazon, Musk Foundation, George Soros, Craig Newmark, Facebook, and the late Jim Pacha.

Right after CBS News came Yahoo News which is owned by Apollo Global Management. Apollo is a private equity firm owned by partners Leon Black, Joshua Harris, and Marc Rowan.

Who Owns Social Media?

While not a news outlet, billions of people rely on social media and search giant Google for news. 

More troubling, Facebook, Twitter, and Google do not produce any news at all. Their content is user generated or in Google’s case, acquired into their Google News platform from other media publishers.

Unfortunately, the move from traditional media to big tech platforms has shifted advertisement revenue away from newsrooms into big tech pockets. In a sense, what is happening to traditional media is what happened to Mom and Pop shops when Walmart took over those respective markets.

It would seem the big tech realm has become far too powerful. This became extremely apparent when former President Trump was banned from social media during his Presidency. When an organization has the power to silence the leader of the free world, perhaps they have too much power.

If we lived in a truly free society, shouldn’t these social media platforms allow free speech, as our First Amendment declares?

Perhaps, some truths are inconvenient for the media moguls…

We should note,

Facebook is owned by Mark Zuckerberg (CEO).

Twitter is owned by Jack Dorsey (CEO).

Google’s parent company is Alphabet, whose top three shareholders are Vanguard, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin. The last two having super-voting shares giving them ultimate control. The CEO of Alphabet is Sundar Pichai.

Government Media

National Public Radio (NPR) is paid for by the Federal Government and donors to 1,000 affiliate stations around the country. NPR’s reach is massive, placing it just three spots behind CBS News. The CEO of NPR is John F. Lansing.

Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) is paid for by the Federal Government and donors from 330 affiliate stations. PBS is just a couple spots lower on the list than NPR, right behind Forbes. The CEO of PBS is Paula Kerger who also serves on the Council on Foreign Relations.

Newspaper Media

The News Media Alliance says there are 672 major daily newspapers in the United States. More than half of them (382) are owned by just seven companies.

  1. Advance Local Publications (22 dailies).
  2. Alden Global Capital Venture Capital owns Digital First Media (56 dailies).
  3. Chatham Asset Management owns the McClatchy newspapers (30 dailies) and Canada's Post Media.
  4. Gannett Co., Inc. (250 dailies).
  5. Hearst (23 dailies).
  6. Lee Enterprises (90 dailies).
  7. Tribune Company (10 dailies).

Media Consolidation

What we have revealed clearly shows there is a high level of consolidation within the media. Certainly within the largest and most influential media firms. They are typically owned by billionaire families or government agencies. The same story is true in the United Kingdom.

As the data indicates, the media firms who report left leaning news have shareholders and CEOs who donate or have affiliation with left leaning causes. The same is true for the media firms reporting right leaning news, which really seems isolated to Fox.

It’s no secret, the media is predominately left-leaning, hence why socialist politics are being adopted and accepted more quickly by the public. This also ties into other ideals like the United Nations Sustainable Development initiative, and the notion of man-made climate change.

Sure, the climate is changing.

However, if we visit nature, we discover earth has been changing since its creation. Visible through the various rock formations and layers that all indicate, “change”. Further, the glaciers have been melting for the last 12,000 years, since the end of the last ice age. Indicating yet, more “change”.

Not due to man, but due to the cycles of the sun and earth.

Instead of the media acknowledging these facts, they spin these facts in order to push various agendas that seem to provide their owners “control benefits”.

Can We Trust The Media?

Let’s think about the media a bit more here with everything we now understand.

We continually see the media fight and bicker with one another, indicating their competitor is reporting “fake news” or “misinformation”. That clearly indicates, one of them is lying. So then, they cannot be “fair and balanced” or “the most trusted name in news”.

By definition then, these media firms are only reporting convenient facts that align with their persuasion, or they are outright lying in order to promote their ideology to support their political candidates or promote their worldview.

Now that’s where “fact-checkers” come into play. You know, those third parties who verify if the media’s information is true or not. Now call me crazy, but I always thought it was the reporters job to ensure they had all the facts before reporting a story to the public?

To add to the madness, who fact checks the fact checkers?

In my opinion, these “facts” tell us, we should take the information presented by the media with a grain of salt, until we can verify it for ourselves.

Now let’s be honest with each other…

How many of us actually do any fact checking?

Next to none, in our mind, that is what the media is for. Yet, the data clearly indicates the media is biased and reports the news according to the direction of their largest shareholders and CEOs. According to the whims of the ultra rich and government.

So we now have more to consider.

Media Owners And The Common Man

We, the common man are being molded how to think, believe, and behave according to the whims of billionaires and governments. The thoughts of the media are not only projected to us, but to the companies we work for, and to the governments who educate our children through public schooling.

Our thoughts are being controlled, and dare I say, manipulated by billionaires who cannot possibly understand the problems of American’s, as they have never lived in our shoes.

American’s whose median household income is just over $65,000 annually.

Now I want to put that into perspective for you.

Do you realize there are just 2,755 billionaires in the entire world?

In 2020, there were 2,153 billionaires who own more wealth than 4.6 billion people on earth.

In fact, the world’s richest 1% have more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people on earth. Folks, there are only 7.8 billion people on the planet.

This is astounding.

While there is no sin in being rich, not everyone is morally rich either, this proves my point.

Should we really trust the for profit media that’s owned and controlled by billionaire families and governments, when the same media makes campaign contributions to the government?

Do we honestly believe there is no conflict of interest here?

For years we have seen private enterprise and banking sector executives move between private companies and public government positions. Government positions that pay paltry wages, but provide the power to change laws.

Now do some of these individuals really want to help the people, or push more propaganda, as seen on tv?

This is not to say the media is worthless, the points here should be clear. Media should not be blindly trusted, media is not the Gospel. While the media can be benefitting and reveal important details, we also know the media has concealed things as well.

Let me give you a couple examples.

Media Reveals And Conceals

The media has been used to reveal government coverups; one instance was during the Vietnam era and another in the modern era with the revelations of Edward Snowden.

However, the media has also helped to conceal certain agendas as well.

Let me share this quote with you by David Rockefeller in his 2002 book Memoirs where he said,

We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.

It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.

1991 Bilderberg Meeting

While the media revealed cover ups by the government, in another breath they concealed a plot by the Rockefeller family and others to implement “a world government”.

This helps us understand, the media cannot be trusted. Instead, the media will promote the agenda brought down by those who control, support, and fund these media entities.

Media Divides

One commonality I find in the media, is the division that is consistently fostered. We are told by the media and government to be tolerant and accepting of others. In reality, that’s only a one way street.

These terms and phrases were designed in order to promote certain ideologies over others. No matter if you are Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, Christian or Atheist, we are continually divided amongst each other.

When we think about some of the biggest issues of our time; the war on terrorism, immigration, or the latest health crisis…

When we cut through all the political spin, the best outcomes and policies are those that benefit “We The People”, and what preserves our freedoms unabated.

The Media Is Questionable

The original idea of a newspaper was to keep our communities informed. To make the proceedings of legislative bodies and public documents known and visible to the public.

Journalism was a word that meant, one investigated a story and provided true and objective thought. It meant, a reporter gathered the facts. A journalist looked objectively at a situation and reported the facts. Not just the facts convenient for the left or the right.

At the end of the day, there is only one truth to anything in life, right?

Today, there is no true reporting or objective thought. We have “journalists” who read from a teleprompter that contains a pre-written script.

Who wrote the script?

This all reminds me of a quote by Thomas Jefferson from a letter in 1807 that I want to share.

Jefferson wrote,

The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.

Jefferson’s statements seems startling.

The media was filled with lies over 200 years ago, arguably since its inception.

Are we to believe anything has changed in our morally corrupt world?

Conclusion

Before we accept the next news report, perhaps we would be better off to question the motives behind the news report.

Is it really the truth that is being reported, or could this information benefit the billionaires and governments who are sharing it with us?

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