1996, the Republicans control congress and Gingrich is leading them. Gingrich has a good buddy named Rush who also happens to be a right-wing pigeon on the AM dial. With fanfare from Rush and help from the party, Newt gets through the Telecom Act of '96, which basically does away with ownership caps on broadcast outlets as well as pretty much eliminating any vestige of public service left in the industry.
It doesn't take long for a company from Bush Country (Austin, TX) to start snapping up radio frequencies left and right until Clear Channel becomes the single biggest radio owner in the states.
Who do you think distributes the Rush Limbaugh radio program? None other than Premier Networks, a division of Clear Channel. Clear Channel also owns conservative mouthpiece MIchael Reagan, son of the Gipper.
Who else has benefited from the deregulation of 96? Well, Rupert Murdoch's done pretty well and his conservative-slanted Fox News is doing pretty well, too.
So was the Telecom Act of '96 designed to place the media in the hands of a conservative oligopoly? What do you think?