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FOX'NG UP LOCAL NEWS TOO

by Timothy Karr, Free Press.net Friday, Oct. 21, 2005 at 9:37 PM
list@freepress.net

Roger Ailes, the architect behind the right-wing tilt of cable news, is now remaking 35 local television stations -- broadcasting to nearly 40 percent of America’s homes -- in Fox News Channel’s image.

Fox News Channel's political agenda is coming to a local television station near you.

Roger Ailes, the architect behind the right-wing tilt of cable news, is now remaking 35 local television stations -- broadcasting to nearly 40 percent of America’s homes -- in Fox News Channel’s image.

Tell News Corp. and local stations: “Don’t Fox with my local news!”

Ailes plans to replace local news with the biased infotainment that’s a hallmark of Fox News Channel. He has moved oversight of the local station group to Fox News headquarters in New York. He has flown in local news personalities for retraining on how to deliver the news Fox-style.

This month, he replaced station programming with "Geraldo at Large," a show produced out of Fox News’ studios. Other Fox News Channel programs -- a lineup that includes Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity -- are waiting in the wings.

One thing is certain: With Roger Ailes in charge, local news will take a turn for the worse.

Media consolidation made Ailes’ takeover of local news possible. News Corp. already owns both a Fox and a UPN affiliate in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- the country’s three biggest markets -- and other duopolies in six more of the top 20 markets, including Dallas, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. (Click here for an interactive map of Fox-owned stations.)

As I write this, News Corp.'s lobbyists are schmoozing officials in Washington to further loosen regulations that prohibit one company from owning even more local news outlets. Instead, we need to break up the big media conglomerates and get higher quality news and information in return for free use of the public's airwaves.

As you’ve proven with Sinclair Broadcast Group, "payola pundit" Armstrong Williams and the partisan attack on public broadcasting, mobilized citizens can stop media abuses. Now it’s time to keep News Corp. from turning the public airwaves into a mouthpiece for Fox News Channel.

You can stop the "Fox Effect" on local news by signing our declaration now.

We will deliver your declaration to the doorsteps of Fox-owned stations and directly to Fox News headquarters. But we'll also be organizing, community by community, to pressure federal regulators to stop Big Media’s march against local control. We’re gathering forces for an upcoming ownership fight at the FCC. To protect local media from corporate consolidation, millions of Americans need to stand up and be counted.

Sign the petition now and forward this e-mail to all your friends and colleagues.

Onward,

Timothy Karr

Campaign Director

Free Press

www.freepress.net

P.S. Visit our "Don't FOX with Local News" campaign.

P.P.S. Read a recent Variety article on Ailes’ plans to Fox with local news.

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