Ownership Chart: The Big Six
The U.S. media landscape is dominated by massive corporations that, through a history of mergers and acquisitions, have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. In many cases, these giant companies are vertically integrated, controlling everything from initial production to final distribution. Here is information about the largest U.S. media firms.
General Electric media-related holdings include television networks NBC and Telemundo, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, 26 television stations in the United States and cable networks MSNBC, Bravo and the Sci Fi Channel. GE also owns 80 percent of NBC Universal.
- GE Commercial Finance: GE Capital Aviation Services, GE Commercial Equipment Financing, GE Corporate Financial Services, GE Structured Finance Global Energy Unit, GE Fleet Services, GE Healthcare Financial Services, GE Real Estate, GE Vendor Financial Services.
- GE Consumer & Industrial (appliances, lighting, and Industrial Systems).
- GE Healthcare (diagnostic and interventional medical imaging, information and services technology)
- GE Infrastructure (comprised of GE Water Technologies, GE Silicones, GE Superabrasives, and GE Quartz, commercial aviation financing, and serves various industries including cosmetics, semi-conductors, oil drilling, construction and telecommunications)
- GE Money
The Walt Disney Company owns the ABC Television Network, cable networks including ESPN, the Disney Channel, SOAPnet, A&E and Lifetime, 277 radio stations, music and book publishing companies, production companies Touchstone, Miramax and Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, the cellular service Disney Mobile, and theme parks around the world.
News Corporation’s media holdings include: the Fox Broadcasting Company; television and cable networks such as Fox, Fox Business Channel, National Geographic and FX; print publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and TVGuide; the magazines Barron’s and SmartMoney; book publisher HarperCollins; film production companies 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Blue Sky Studios; numerous websites including MarketWatch.com; and non-media holdings including the National Rugby League.
Australia/Asia: More than 150 titles including: The Wall Street Journal Asia, the Fiji Times, Daily Telegraph, Nai Lalakai, Shanti Dut, Gold Coast Bulletin, Herald Sun, Newsphotos, Newspix, Newstext, NT News, Papua New Guinea Post-Courier (63%), Sunday Herald Sun, Sunday Mail, Sunday Tasmanian, Sunday Times, Sunday Territorian, The Advertiser, The Australian, The Courier-Mail, The Mercury, News Limited, The Sunday Mail, The Sunday Telegraph, Weekly Times, The Weekend Australian, MX, Brisbane News, Northern Territory News, Cumberland (NSW), Leader (VIC), Quest (QLD), Messenger (SA), Community (WA), Darwin Sun/Palmerson Sun (NT). United Kingdom: News of the World, The Sun, The Sunday Times, The Times, News International.United States: Newspaper holdings include the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, MarketWatch and Dow Jones Newswire; News Corp. also acquired the Ottoway group of community newspapers through its takeover of Dow Jones in 2007. Books: HarperCollins Publishers.
Time Warner is the largest media conglomerate in the world, with holdings including: CNN, the CW (a joint venture with CBS), HBO, Cinemax, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, America Online, MapQuest, Moviefone, Warner Bros. Pictures, Castle Rock and New Line Cinema, and more than 150 magazines including Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Marie Claire and People.
Viacom holdings include: MTV, Nickelodeon/Nick-at-Nite, VH1, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment, Atom Entertainment, and music game developer Harmonix. Viacom 18 is a joint venture with the Indian media company Global Broadcast news.
CBS Corporation owns the CBS Television Network, CBS Television Distribution Group, the CW (a joint venture with Time Warner), Showtime, book publisher Simon & Schuster, 30 television stations, and CBS Radio, Inc, which has 130 stations. CBS is now the leading supplier of video to Google’s new Video Marketplace.