Newspapers: About the Media Barons

The Federal Communications Commission has long been concerned with what Commissioner Nicholas Johnson calls "the media barons"—newspaper publishers who also own local TV and radio stations and thus threaten "the free exchange of information and opinion." Last week, in an unprecedented ruling, the FCC denied renewal of the license of Boston's WHDH-TV, which is owned (along with AM and FM radio stations) by the Herald-Traveler Corp. Taking over the CBS-affiliated channel will be Boston Broadcasters Inc., a consortium of 30 Boston businessmen and Cambridge intellectuals.

Explaining its decision, the 3-to-l FCC majority said that "the widest possible dissemination of information...

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