Jack Says: "The word 'dump' is used! We didn't dump! We had a permit from the U.S. government and the State of New York to do exactly what we did. Do you think I'd come to work in a company that would do that or condone that? I wouldn't do it, Lesley! This is nuts!" -- Jack Welch's response to Lesley Stahl's question about GE's pollution of the Hudson River (CBS News Transcripts, 60 MINUTES, October 29, 2000)
introductionNBC - now the centrepiece of NBC Universal - embodies the history of US commercial broadcasting and what critics have characterised as the media-industrial complex. It is currently controlled by the sprawling engineering and financial services conglomerate General Electric (GE).
It was spawned by RCA, created by General Electric and Westinghouse during the 1920s 'radio boom' that was a precursor of the dot com fever at the end of the millennium. RCA expanded into film (through RKO) and boasted two major radio networks, one relinquished under federal government pressure to form what became ABC. RCA followed a similar trajectory to GE and Westinghouse, becoming an increasingly unwieldy conglomerate.
In the early 1980s three networks - ABC, CBS and NBC - accounted for around 92% of US television viewers. AT&T ('Ma Bell') controlled 78% of local telephone service and around 98% of the long distance market. IBM accounted for 77% of the computer market. How the world has changed, and not just because of the web.
RCA, having fended off Disney, was absorbed by GE in 1985 to gain NBC - an operation at once more exciting and potentially lucrative than bashing metal. In 2003 GE formed a joint venture - NBC Universal - that encompassed the US film studio, theme park and cable tv interests of Vivendi Universal. At that time GE had revenue of around US$135 billion and assets of US$575bn, with around 315,000 employees in over 100 nations. It ranked as the 5th largest US company by sales and the 8th largest in the world. A chronology of NBC, RCA, RKO and GE is here.
Extra! November/December 1994Felons On The Air: Does GE's Ownership of NBC Violate the Law?NBC Brings Good Things to GEBy Sam Husseini
General Electric's ownership of the NBC TV network has been in the news in recent months. As Extra! went to press, companies like Time Warner, Disney, ITT and Turner Broadcasting have reportedly been negotiating to either buy NBC outright or enter into some kind of partnership with GE. But a little-noted aspect of communications law raises questions about GE'sownership of NBC's broadcast licenses -- and its ability to sell those licenses to another company.Shady CharactersThe Federal Communications Act of 1934 created the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the airwaves, which are considered public property. The act states that the FCC should assess the "character...of the applicant to operate the station," and ensure that the "public interest...would be served by the granting" of a license.Despite a general decline in the FCC's enforcement of the public interest aspect of this law, there is at least one factor that the FCC still considers before granting a license: whether the applicant has committed a felony....
The CFR controls American media
The CFR controls American media
CFR Examples of media lies
CFR media control John D rockefeller
We have some first class- Low class rich people in OKLAHOMA