Internal Seminar: Nicola Mastrorocco

Title: "Media Consolidation"

  • Date: 14 February 2024 from 13:00 to 14:00

  • Event location: Seminar Room - Piazza Scaravilli, 2 + Microsoft Teams Meeting


Recent decades have seen major disruptions to the local media environment in the United States, with many previously independent local television outlets being consolidated into large conglomerates. Using a comprehensive new dataset of purchases of media outlets by conglomerate owners, we examine the effects of ownership change on news content, viewership, and political knowledge. We further explore whether consolidation effects are driven by general economic forces common to all conglomerate owners, or by owner-specific idiosyncratic differences in strategy and objectives. We find that effects on content are sizable in the aggregate but driven by only one major conglomerate, the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Viewer reactions to content changes are small and not significantly different across ownership groups. These results together suggest significant scope for owner influence on news content.