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Media Ownership and Concentration in America$
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Eli Noam

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195188523

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188523.001.0001

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The Ownership Structure of the American Information Sector

The Ownership Structure of the American Information Sector

(p.384) 16 The Ownership Structure of the American Information Sector
Media Ownership and Concentration in America

Eli M. Noam

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the composition and structure of ownership in the American information sector. There are several forms of non-commercial ownership in the United States. They include direct governmental ownership; indirect control by lower levels of government, such as a broadcast station licensed to a state university; nonprofit public television stations; and some newspapers owned by foundations set up by the original owners. But more significant in terms of size, impact, and prevalence are the several types of private ownership—by individuals, families, partnerships, publicly held corporations, institutional investors, and venture capitalists. American newspapers and magazines have often been owned and controlled by individuals and families through closely held (that is, largely non-traded) corporations or special voting stock. Other media firms have relied on outside financing through a more “public” ownership of shares, or from “private equity” funds. This, in turn, has led to a significant ownership role by institutional investors that buy stakes in companies on behalf of smaller investors.

Keywords:   United States, information sector, ownership, institutional investors, venture capitalists, private equity funds, publicly held corporations, newspapers, private ownership, non-commercial ownership

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