IN DALLAS: 4528 McKINNEY AVE. 209 S. AKARD, downtown RICHARDSON: 508 LOCKWOOD FARMERS BRANCH SHOPPING CTR. SW CORNER, VALLEY VIEW IN WACO: 25TH & COLUMBUS IN AUSTIN: 1514 LAVACA 6103 BURNET RD. IN FORT WORTH: 6301 CAMP BOWIE BLVD. *PERRY ScPcou RoDuo* ‘MAY VG. RACEHORSE CI-116t COOKOFF \(4 Darrell M CCcal c;7 14 Moe 13cinas MAY Its !B. CONTRAITM5 HORSE 511011.1 off\(. cow Pops , Race5 .MAY AMERICAN jowtop Ropeo ASSI1 SANCT100eD Pp t0. ‘MAY 26 .1,7 .Z8. ANDli MON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES AUSTIN, TEXAS 78’731 5.12 453 1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip 290 EASTi -oille.B1,I KIIJG LIGHT: In M Al4OR , SiGIJS 0000 o-o-o-o-oo-o-ocro o o “0”0-0-0WO 000000 HALF PRICE RECORns .MA.A.G AZ I NES Texas’ Top 15 Newspaper Chains TEXAS Texas Circulation 3,306,222 Circu lation share 100% No. of Texas dailies 111 National ranking* 1. Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. 322,536 9.6% 14 21 2. A. H. Belo/News Texan 310,187 9.6% 7 37 3. The Times Mirror Co. 227,903 6.7% 1 7 4. Capital Cities Communications, Inc. 218,379 6.7% 1 12 5. Walls Newspapers 186,957 5.6% 10 28 6. Cox Newspapers 169,617 5.0% 4 9 7. News America Publishing Corp. 156,503 4.7% 2 16 8. Dow Jones & Co., Inc. 1 6 9. Morris Communications Corp. 129,802 3.9% 3 36 10. The Hearst Corp. 125,467 3.7% 1 8 11. Jefferson Pilot Publications 108,023 3.2% 4 53 12. Freedom Newspapers 93,238 2.8% 5 17 13. Gannett Co., Inc. 54,343 1.7% 1 4 14. Donrey Media Group 43,738 1.3% 5 30 15. Palmer Newspapers 40,606 1.2% 3 56 TOP 15 2,337,257 70.7% 62 * among 175 national chains # circulates throughout Southwest region Journal’s Southwest edition is printed in Dallas in this fashion. Because technology now makes centralized management more feasible, the chains are coveting some of the state’s smaller-circulation papers as profitable investments and a means to increase their share of the Texas market. Potential for abuse As journalism has evolved from trade to industry, the daily paper has devel-‘ oped into a commercial product whose prime purpose lies more in the making of money than in the molding of public opinion. Far too often, the result of cor porate ownership has been “chainstore” news-uniform, bland and offensive to none. Quality, though, is really a peripheral concern; the point to be made is that concentrated media ownership has increased the likelihood that a few interests may come to exercise immense and probably irreversible control over the national flow of information, ideas and opinions. The argument that relatively little abuse has occurred so far is not particularly comforting, for if the potential for the abuse of a free press exists, someone in Texas will surely find a way to act accordingly. And what of anti-trust? The Sherman and Clayton acts were written into law the premise that capital tends to become concentrated and must therefore be periodically broken up. In a landmark anti-trust case, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Learned Hand summed up this view when he wrote that, along with the economic arguments against monopoly: “. . .there are others, based upon the belief that the great industrial consolidations are inherently undesirable, regardless of their economic results. . . . Among the purposes of Congress in 1890 was a desire to put an end to great aggregations of capital because of the helplessness of the individual before them. . . . Throughout the history of these statutes it has been constantly assumed that one of their purposes was to perpetuate and preserve, in spite of possible cost, an organization of industry in small units which can effectively compete with each other.” \(U.S. V. Aluminum Company of America, Hand’s endorsement of small, competitive “units” is of even more value in a time of rampant conglomeration. Though fewer than 3 percent of the nation’s cities support competing dailies, 40 percent of U.S. newspapers \(and 29 percent of owned. There is still much to hope for. Freedom of expression is a right too precious to entrust to corporate needs and wants, but if Congress does not act definitively this session on pending legislation, the world view served up by the daily press will largely be that of the sort of people who bring us gas, automobiles and nuclear energy. The growth of media conglomerates in the face of anti-trust laws to the contrary seems clear proof that an ounce of prevention would have saved a whole legislative packet of cures. Margot Beutler, an Observer staff assistant, is a historian whose most recent work has been on the history of Te.vas pharmacy. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17
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