Magazine article Editor & Publisher

After Dow Jones Sale: Jerry Ceppos Calls for Media Ownership Limits

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

After Dow Jones Sale: Jerry Ceppos Calls for Media Ownership Limits

Article excerpt

Jerry Ceppos, who was Knight Ridder's vice president/news when it was the second-biggest newspaper company in America, argues that limits must be imposed on media consolidation, in an op-ed article published in Thursday's San Jose Mercury News.

Ceppos said he became convinced of the need to limit media ownership by Tuesday sale of Dow Jones & Co. to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

"I've decided that the worriers at the Wall Street Journal were right," Ceppos wrote. "The sky did fall on Tuesday. As objectionable as the idea is, we need new methods to limit media consolidation. There is a certain irony in my saying that: I was a vice president of Knight Ridder, once the second-largest U.S. newspaper publisher, when its combined newspaper circulation was about 3.8 million copies a day -- a laughably tiny number next to Murdoch's influence."

The first step, Ceppos suggested, is to "reframe moribund U.S. antitrust laws to limit" the kind of broad "Murdoch-type domination" epitomized by News Corp.'s holdings in newspapers, cable and satellite television, magazine and book publishing, and online networks such as My Space.

News Corp. has properties in four continents. Ceppos said he doesn't have a good idea on how to limit that kind of "domination" of media. …

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