If you've heard the old joke about having hundreds of TV channels but nothing's ever on and you've witnessed it for yourself, or complained about how thin the newspaper has become, or are sick of the same ten songs being played over and over again on the radio, then you should care that the media landscape can still get worse.
Media businesses, like all businesses, have to sell their product. That makes sense. But why sell something that sucks? Wouldn't that lead people elsewhere for information and entertainment? The media, like any other business that grows "too big to fail," has gotten too big to produce anything worthwhile. It's the Walmartization of our entire country. Now the media wants to get even bigger.
In 1975, a law was put in effect that prohibited TV stations from buying newspapers in the same city. Tampa is one of just a few cities where a company, Media General, already owned both a TV station (WFLA) and a newspaper (The Tampa Tribune) pre-1975. So Media General was allowed to keep their company as it was, but no other company was allowed to do the same from then on.
Currently the FCC is in the process of deciding if they should deregulate (overturn) this "cross-ownership" law. And since Tampa is one of those few cities in the country that already has cross-ownership in action, the FCC is looking to us for our input. Do we like our Tribune-WFLA combo? Their shared reporters, shared stories? Are they giving us all the information we need or have they gotten a little soft and spread too thin?