The Death of Media “Synergy”

Brian Lowry of Variety writes that the Tribune Co’s spin-off of its newspapers from its TV stations and operations is the “death knell” for the concept of “synergy” — the idea that somehow merging these two news sources in one local market after another would somehow “improve” news coverage for local communities while at the same time increasing profits for these supposedly “synergistic” media companies.  Or, in simpler terms, that one and one would equal three or four or five.

Of course, synergy didn’t end up equaling anything.  For Tribune, it equaled bankruptcy.  Even Rupert Murdoch, the great crusader for synergy, has now split News Corp. so that the video assets including TV are separate from the newspaper and print operations.

We hate to say we told you so.  But we told you and the FCC so back in 2002, and continuously since then.  Bigger would not equal better, it would equal worse.  And it did.  We take no joy in this; lots of great people lost jobs and lots of communities lost better news than they otherwise would have had.