I stumbled across a story at Project Censored, which I don’t recall seeing posted here.

Sonoma State University students took on a task of examining the boards of directors at the Big Ten Media Companies.

I had always known that GE owned NBC, but just how intertwined are the board members of these media conglomerates?

More below the fold:
I searched and did not see this information posted — if already posted, let me know and I will humbly remove this diary.

Sonoma State students Bridget Thornton and Brit Walters determined  

that only 118 people comprise the membership on the boards of director of the ten big media giants. This is a small enough group to fit in a moderate size university classroom. These 118 individuals in turn sit on the corporate boards of 288 national and international corporations. In fact, eight out of ten big media giants share common memberships on boards of directors with each other. NBC and the Washington Post both have board members who sit on Coca Cola and J. P. Morgan, while the Tribune Company, The New York Times and Gannett all have members who share a seat on Pepsi. It is kind of like one big happy family of interlocks and shared interests. The following are but a few of the corporate board interlocks for the big ten media giants in the US:

  • New York Times: Caryle Group, Eli Lilly, Ford, Johnson and Johnson, Hallmark,
    Lehman Brothers, Staples, Pepsi

  • Washington Post: Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Dun & Bradstreet, Gillette,
    G.E. Investments, J.P. Morgan, Moody’s

  • Knight-Ridder: Adobe Systems, Echelon, H&R Block, Kimberly-Clark, Starwood Hotels

  • The Tribune (Chicago & LA Times): 3M, Allstate, Caterpillar, Conoco Phillips, Kraft,
    McDonalds, Pepsi, Quaker Oats, Shering Plough, Wells Fargo

  • News Corp (Fox): British Airways, Rothschild Investments

  • GE (NBC): Anheuser-Busch, Avon, Bechtel, Chevron/Texaco, Coca-Cola, Dell, GM,
    Home Depot, Kellogg, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, Motorola, Procter & Gamble,

  • Disney (ABC): Boeing, Northwest Airlines, Clorox, Estee Lauder, FedEx, Gillette,
    Halliburton, Kmart, McKesson, Staples, Yahoo,
    Viacom (CBS): American Express, Consolidated Edison, Oracle, Lafarge North America

  • Gannett: AP, Lockheed-Martin, Continental Airlines, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, Target,

  • AOL-Time Warner (CNN): Citigroup, Estee Lauder, Colgate-Palmolive, Hilton

    Can we trust the news editors at the Washington Post to be fair and objective regarding news stories about Lockheed-Martin defense contract over-runs? Or can we assuredly believe that ABC will conduct critical investigative reporting on Halliburton’s sole-source contracts in Iraq? If we believe the corporate media give us the full un-censored truth about key issues inside the special interests of American capitalism, then we might feel that they are meeting the democratic needs of mainstream America. However if we believe — as increasingly more Americans do– that corporate media serves its own self-interests instead of those of the people, than we can no longer call it mainstream or refer to it as plural. Instead we need to say that corporate media is corporate America, and that we the mainstream people need to be looking at alternative independent sources for our news and information.

  • Like I said, I know GE is big into military contracts, and owns NBC and partially owns MSNBC so there was always that conflict in my mind.  What I had never considered was the influence of such a small group of persons (118 board members) having influence at the highest levels of these mega-media companies.

    I am a capitalist, and support the rights of all of us to make a fair profit.  But, corporations also have a responsibility for the good of the United States, and where they refuse to act in the best interests of the long-term safety and security of the United States and its workers (such as the shrinking middle class), then federal regulation is needed to prevent abuse of the system.  I hold former President Clinton in high regard, but I’m not so keen on his media consolidation decisions.

    If the Republican Party is currently using the social wedge issues to draw in huge amounts of volunteers and money, I also know that the true greed is exhibited by the deregulation and corporate tax breaks given by the Bush Administration — damage which will be very hard to undo, even after Traitorgate/Treasongate … hell, BushCheneyRumsfeldRoveRiceFeithWolfowitzLibbyAbramsChalabi-Gate unravels the Executive Branch.  Will the Legislative Branch have the foresight to reign in these corporate abuses and undo the last 5 (Hell 40) years of corporate favoritism shown at the Federal Government level?  Not if the DLC is allowed anywhere near the new Democratic Majority which I see taking over after that gate-thingy happens.

    We need more Paul Hacketts and Barbara Boxers, and less Liebermans and Bidens.

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