The Telecommunications Act of 1996

The enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 fundamentally changed the basis of broadcast and communication media regulation and the structure of broadcast media in the United States. Touted by its proponents in the American media industry as a remedy for a regulatory regime viewed as non-competitive, the Telecommunications Act fundamentally changed ownership restrictions, reshaping local markets and effectively shifting ownership from local to non local entities. This research assesses the effects of this sweeping deregulation of U.S. broadcast media by disaggregating national data and examining in detail how this legislation affected individual broadcast markets. An examination of the sale of radio stations before and after the enactment of the Telecommunications Act gives the reader insight into the following questions: Did deregulation of broadcast media ownership regulations in the United States enhance competition and programming variety? Did deregulation affect ownership structures in smaller broadcast media markets in the same manner and at the same time as larger markets? This book is of interest to critical mass media and communications students and scholars, as well as students interested in the sociology of mass media and formal organizations.