But it was very clear in the news business, you had one major newspaper per metro area, because of the cost of distribution. You’d have three TV networks nationally because of the limited bandwidth for VHF TV. You’d have a handful of local radio stations. You’d have a handful of magazines. You could only really have three general news magazines on newsstands cuz you just couldn’t afford to distribute more than that. Scale economics kinda ruled the day.
And so, so the news business went into this mode where they kinda said, okay, we’re a monopoly. We’re a monopoly or an oligopoly. And if you’re a monopoly or an oligopoly, it’s incredibly important to stay out of antitrust trouble. And the best way to stay out of antitrust trouble is to not, to not make anybody angry. And the best way not to make anybody angry, is not have any opinions. And so therefore let’s be objective about everything. And then we can we can just basically say, First Amendment objectivity, don’t break us up.
And that worked really well, as long as the distribution was controlled, which it was. The distribution was locked down.
And then the internet showed up. And then the internet basically took the legs out from under all the distribution monopolies and then all of a sudden there are you know millions of voices.
So my point as a business person is okay that’s the past, right, that’s the old days. That’s over. We need to look back to what happened when these things weren’t monopolies and oligopolies.
We need to look back to the thirties and twenties. And back to the colonial era, and we need to basically think about how to build news businesses, media businesses, that thrive in a competitive market. And that has to do with being, you know, incredibly aggressive.
That has to do with having a very strong point of view. It has to do with, not with the idea that you’re gonna be the only point of view, but you’ll be one of many and you have to argue things out. You have to have the right cost structure you have to think about market segmentation and you have to, you have to do all the things that people do when they actually build businesses.