In the United States, movie production is known to have been dominated by major studios since the early 20th Century; before that, there was a period in which "Edison's Trust monopolized the industry.["citation needed] In the early twenty-first century the music and television industries was subject to media consolidation, with "Sony Music Entertainment's parent company merging their music division with Bertelsmann AG's "BMG to form "Sony BMG and Tribune's "The WB and CBS Corp.'s "UPN merging to form "The CW. In the case of Sony BMG there existed a "Big Five", later ""Big Four", of major "record companies, while The CW's creation was an attempt to consolidate ratings and stand up to the "Big Four" of American "network (terrestrial) television (although the CW was actually partially owned by one of the Big Four in CBS). In television, the vast majority of broadcast and basic cable networks, over a hundred in all, are controlled by eight corporations: "News Corporation (the Fox family of channels), "The Walt Disney Company (which includes the ABC, ESPN and Disney brands), "National Amusements (which includes "CBS Corporation and "Viacom), "Comcast (which includes the NBC brands), "Time Warner, "Discovery Communications, "E. W. Scripps Company, "Cablevision, or some combination thereof.
There may also be some large-scale owners in an industry that are not the causes of monopoly or oligopoly. "Clear Channel Communications, especially since the "Telecommunications Act of 1996, acquired many "radio stations across the United States, and came to own more than 1,200 stations. However, the radio broadcasting industry in the United States and elsewhere can be regarded as oligopolistic regardless of the existence of such a player. Because radio stations are local in reach, each licensed a specific part of spectrum by the "FCC in a specific local area, any local market is served by a limited number of stations. In most countries, this system of licensing makes many "markets local oligopolies. The similar market structure exists for television broadcasting, cable systems and newspaper industries, all of which are characterized by the existence of large-scale owners. Concentration of ownership is often found in these industries.["citation needed]
In the United States, data on ownership and market share of media companies is not held in the public domain.["citation needed]
Over time the rate of media mergers has increased, while the number of "media outlets has also increased. This has resulted in a higher concentration of ownership, with fewer companies owning more media outlets. In 1983, 90% of US media was controlled by fifty companies; today, 90% is controlled by just six companies.
|The Big Six||Media Outlets||Revenues (2014)|
|"Comcast||"NBCUniversal (a joint venture with "General Electric from 2011 to 2013), "NBC and "Telemundo, "Universal Pictures, "Focus Features, 26 television stations in the "United States and cable networks "USA Network, "Bravo, "CNBC, "The Weather Channel, "MSNBC, "Syfy, "NBCSN, "Golf Channel, "Esquire Network, "E!, "Cloo, "Chiller, "Universal HD and the "Comcast SportsNet regional system. Comcast also owns the "Philadelphia Flyers through a "separate subsidiary.||$69 billion|
|"The Walt Disney Company||Holdings include: "ABC Television Network, cable networks "ESPN, the "Disney Channel, "A&E and "Lifetime, approximately 30 radio stations, music, video game, and book publishing companies, production companies "Touchstone, "Marvel Entertainment, "Lucasfilm, "Walt Disney Pictures, "Pixar Animation Studios, the cellular service "Disney Mobile, "Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and "theme parks in several countries. Also has a longstanding partnership with "Hearst Corporation, which owns additional TV stations, newspapers, magazines, and stakes in several Disney television ventures.||$48.8 billion|
|"News Corporation*||Holdings include: the "Fox Broadcasting Company; cable networks "Fox News Channel, "Fox Business Network, "Fox Sports 1, "Fox Sports 2, "National Geographic, "Nat Geo Wild, "FX, "FXX, "FX Movie Channel, and the regional "Fox Sports Networks; print publications including the "Wall Street Journal and the "New York Post; the magazines "Barron's and "SmartMoney; book publisher "HarperCollins; film production companies "20th Century Fox, "Fox Searchlight Pictures and "Blue Sky Studios.
(*) As of July 2013, News Corporation was split into two separate companies, with publishing assets and Australian media assets going to "News Corp, and broadcasting and media assets going to "21st Century Fox.
|$40.5 billion ($8.6 billion News Corp and $31.9 billion 21st Century Fox)|
|"Time Warner||Formerly the largest media conglomerate in the world, with holdings including: "CNN, the "CW (a "joint venture with "CBS), "HBO, "Cinemax, "Cartoon Network/"Adult Swim, "HLN, "NBA TV, "TBS, "TNT, "truTV, "Turner Classic Movies, "Warner Bros. Pictures, "Castle Rock, "DC Comics, "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and "New Line Cinema.||$22.8 billion|
|"Viacom||Holdings include: "MTV, "Nickelodeon/"Nick at Nite, "VH1, "BET, "Comedy Central, "Paramount Pictures, and "Paramount Home Entertainment.||$13.7 billion|
|"CBS Corporation||Holdings include: "CBS Television Network and the CW (a joint venture with Time Warner), cable networks "CBS Sports Network, "Showtime, "TVGN; 30 television stations; "CBS Radio, Inc., which has 130 stations; "CBS Television Studios; book publisher "Simon & Schuster.||$13.8 billion|
Although Viacom and CBS Corporation have been separate companies since 2006, they are both partially owned subsidiaries of the private "National Amusements company, headed by "Sumner Redstone. As such, Paramount Home Entertainment handles DVD/Blu-ray distribution for most of the CBS Corporation library.
A 2012 "Gallup poll found that Americans' distrust in the mainstream media was higher than it had ever been, with 60% saying they had little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust had increased since the previous few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been before 2004.
Throughout 2016, "Google and "Facebook had been targeted to disperse a substantial amount of "fake news, with the aim, it was claimed, of confusing Americans about various topics. Following the victory of "Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election and during the campaign, Americans who supported "Hillary Clinton were especially enraged about the noticeable amount of fake news about the election on the two websites. It was said that Facebook has been targeted in order to sway the American people with a particular agenda during the electoral cycle, although the chief executive of Facebook, "Mark Zuckerberg stated that "Facebook did not have a role in the recent presidential campaign". It was also reported that the insurmountable number of fake news posts about the election had increased the number of Americans distrusting the media.