Crisis, financialization and regulation: The case of media industries in Portugal

Elsa Costa e Silva

Abstract


This article examines the dynamics of Portuguese media groups in a context of worldwide financialization, and the new media regulation authority established in 2008. It considers the economic and financial performance of the major media groups, in an environment characterized by staff dismissals and decreasing advertising revenue. This focus on the dynamics of media groups is combined with the analysis of the performance of a new media regulator, established in 2006, which has been allocated specific powers to control ownership concentration. From documentary analysis I will highlight the acquiescence of the media regulator to the ‘media in crisis’ argument, the consequences of which include a concentration of local radio and a silence surrounding job cuts in otherwise profitable media groups. A disturbing consequence of the crisis concerns the vulnerability of this sector to capital investment funds, notably Angolan, whose ownership structure lacks transparency.


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