Eric Boehlert writing in Salon his seventh in a series on media consolidation today focuses on the mega-merger between Hispanic media behemoth Univision and ClearChannel owned Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation.
Univision is the largest Spanish-language TV, cable and music company, while HBC is the largest owner of spanish-language radio stations. The merger would likely create a potential monopoly and offer the merged company with unprecedented reach in Hispanic audiences.
[…] for its influence to compare with the astounding role a post-merger Univision would play in the Spanish-language radio, TV and music markets, Clear Channel would have to first go buy EMI Records and then NBC as well […]
For me, I'm less worried about the business aspects of the deal and the political power ClearChannel can wield with its vast media empire than I am about the homogenization and sterilization of programming. This type of power and its affect on innovation and originality in our culture in terms of creative (music and TV programming) and certainly for its news and current event coverage.
[…] As is the case with Clear Channel, blamed by critics for reducing radio's diversity and dumbing down its programming, Univision's brand of programming has also come under fire. One New Times Los Angeles critic dubbed its Spanish-language diet of breathless novellas, or soap operas, imported from Latin America, as “the dumbest, cheapest, most prurient TV programming imaginable.” And like Clear Channel, or “Cheap Channel” as it's sometimes known in the radio industry […]