The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and ensuing radio ownership consolidation are blamed for harming radio localism and the public interest. Prior studies examined impacts attributed to consolidation on format diversity and other measures; however, none explored influences on listener perceptions. The present research sought to determine effects of local-market ownership concentration on listener opinions and use of radio—potentially indicative of stations’ localism and public service—by surveying listeners in markets categorized by ownership concentration levels. Findings suggest concentration does not strongly influence perceptions; however, overall results indicate potentially negative consequences from local and national consolidation on amounts of local music, news, and public-service programming; live-local programming; and station responsiveness. Findings suggest policy change that could enhance radio localism.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Radio broadcasting policy--United States--Public opinion; Radio audiences--United States--Attitudes; Mass media--Ownership--United States--Public opinion; Local mass media--United States; Radio stations--United States--Public opinion

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of Communication (CLA)


Pugliese, Rudy

Advisor/Committee Member

Hira, Ron

Advisor/Committee Member

Wallington, C. J.


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: HE8698 .S34 2008


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