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Media mergers don't limit choices

In response to the Perspectives column written by Charles Cooper, "Dreams of big media":

I thought you made a number of excellent points about the entertainment value of the upcoming Comcast battle for Disney. I was surprised, however, that your editorial took a negative tone about the merger on the grounds that media consolidation will lead to less consumer choice.

This fear (although potentially dangerous) hasn't been realized in media mergers to date. Just look at your examples, AOL and Time Warner certainly haven't dominated the media landscape as many predicted; they can hardly even get along. All these media properties have independent voices and their businesses rarely interfere with editorial decisions.

Technology has also been rapidly expanding consumer choices. Growing up, you and I had three TV channels, a handful of AM radio stations, and one or two major local newspapers. Now, we have hundreds of cable, satellite, and network TV choices, AM and FM and Satellite radio, still one local newspaper (although the local weekly market has grown significantly) and the Internet with countless sites, blogs, and ways to hear different views.

I agree that we need to be vigilant in protecting the firewall between editorial and business interests, but I think the power of technology and our entrepreneurial zeal greatly exceed the forces of consolidation. Given that your articles generally discuss the positive impact of technology on people's lives, I'm surprised you felt differently.

Jeff Schrock
Sunnyvale, Calif.