It’s sometimes hard to pick up the trade press or even local newspapers and see the continued push for consolidation. While I am a big fan of synergies and finding ways to achieve scope and scale, I also see the real, authentic value of local providers – of any service. Someone who knows and cares about the local community and has a vested interest in finding ways to serve their neighbors. It’s really not the best analogy but for the past 30 years, we had a little neighborhood fish market, owned by a kind of crotchety but hilarious man and his wife. It became a ritual to stop in on a Saturday morning, compare notes on Big 10 football (he was a Nebraska fan, my husband is a Michigan and I, of course, root for the underdog of the Big 10, Northwestern) and pick up whatever looked good in his case that day. Then one day, there was simply a note on the door as he closed his business and retired quietly. I was crushed, couldn’t believe I had no forewarning after all of those years of comparing notes on seasoning shrimp and was left high and dry without a place to buy my fish and seafood. After numerous searches through Arlington, I came to the sad conclusion that he was the only local guy around and now my shopping is all done at the big chain grocery store with my frozen/thawed seafood flown in and no more Saturday ritual of grabbing coffee and heading to his hut.
But what happens when that is your local media and impacts your access to content? When it is the trusted venue for your local news and happenings and other things you want to view or have access to? Likely an even bigger deal than what you’re throwing on the grill that night. That is why NTCA has jumped into the fray to oppose the Sinclair/Tribune merger.
The Coalition to Save Local Media, of which NTCA is a member, has produced a nationally focused ad available for use (tv, online, social media, etc.) by interested members and I am sharing that with you today. The 30 second ad opposes the Sinclair/Tribune merger, mentions the expected increase in content costs to consumers as a result of the merger, and urges viewers to contact their member of Congress requesting they oppose the merger. I think you’ll find it worth watching and sharing.
The file is available on dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s010f8roht4qq14/National.mov?dl=0
Bigger is better when it comes to a slice of chocolate cake but not when it comes to the impact to consumer of higher prices and fewer option.