Information status

This database started as a simple query over the ownership of the titles and channels mentioned, mostly by NUJ London Freelance Branch members, for the Rate for the Job database. It took off when that turned into a day's inquisitiveness, and when that surprisingly covered around half the 1700 entries then in the database.

Research is working outward from this starting point. You could describe it as a random walk through the network of media ownership. Mathematically-inclined readers may agree that this is as good a method of inquiry as any.



The most prolific sources for this database are the corporations' own websites, where they promote the huge size of their holdings to attract shareholders and advertisers. These are of course propaganda, and are checked against public lists and directories. The facts of share acquisitions are mostly gleaned from journalistic sources. We provide links to these, choosing where possible sources which will remain available for some time. Apologies for the irritation of broken links: they're not our fault. Once a page goes up on this site, it stays put.

Such a work will never be complete. Information on each media owner on file is therefore presented with a warning of its "status". We use the following categories:



Authors' organisations are focusing campaigning on the activities of this owner. The page is, we believe, current:



We believe that we have a reasonably complete list of titles and channels controlled by this owner. We do not yet have full ownership information on any except those with the simplest shareholding structures. In time, the standard for a record being "current" will rise.



Candidate for being declared "current". Please check and report.



We are actively researching this owner. Any information presented here is largely intended for collborators, as an indication of the state of progress so far.



As we research networks of ownership, we inevitably note too many new owners to set about following them all up immediately. To put it another way, these are up for adoption.



This company doesn't control media outlets directly (as far as we have discovered so far). It's primarily an investment house, that buys and sells stakes in publishers and broadcasters, among other things.



We are not actively compiling an historical database, but when an owner is taken over we keep a record of its passing. Enquiries from historians of the media about collaboration are welcome. (Forgive the silly label, but it really helps to have categories in alphabetical order. Translating this feature into German will be fun...)



Assigning titles, imprints, channels and brands to sectors involves some judgement. The bias here is toward creators' view of the owners: what management policies are we going to encounter? Roughly speaking:

news Newspapers serving significant portions of nations or of major states within Federal structures.
regional Newspapers serving smaller areas, whether paid-for or free to readers.
mags Essentially all print serials that are not news or regional news, nor academic journals.
books Regognisable imprints under which books are marketed. Also used for academic serials imprints, to avoid listing the Journal of Psychosomatic Metallurgy separately.
bcast TV and radio channels, whether terrestrial broadcast, satellite or cable and whether free or subscription or pay-per-view; includes programme production and distribution brands serving the above.
online Major distinct online information and entertainment services. Most news titles and many regional and mags have parallel online services which are not listed separately. Offers of support to maintain live links to all these will be considered with interest... Obviously, the boundary between online and bcast is blurring.
movies Brands for the production and distribution of movies, including straight-to-video/DVD but not those exclusively for broadcast. At present, mostly incidental results from researching major owners of the above categories.
music Brands for the production and distribution of music. As movies, mostly incidental results.
other Everything else that seemed interesting to list - from directory publishing and PR services to "gosh, they do that?"
Xanything Defunct title/imprint/brand in any of the above sectors.


In no event shall the editor nor contributors nor any licensees nor indeed any other person real or corporate be held liable for any information presented here nor for the omission for whatever reason of any information here or anywhere else nor for any tort or damages of any kind arising from use or abuse or failure to make use of any or all such information or lacunae. Everything here is presented as is without any warranty express or implied as to its fitness for any purpose or as to anything else, really. If you want financially sound information you need to pay.

Updated & © 15 May 2003Mike Holderness