Media Competition and News Diets

64 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2020 Last revised: 6 Mar 2023

See all articles by Charles Angelucci

Charles Angelucci

MIT Sloan

Julia Cage

Sciences Po Paris Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Michael Sinkinson

Yale SOM

Date Written: February 2020


Technological innovations in content delivery, such as the advent of broadcast television or of the Internet, threaten local newspapers’ ability to bundle their original local content with third-party content such as wire national news. We examine how the entry of television – with its initial focus on national news – affected local newspapers as well as consumer news diets in the United States. We develop a model of local media and show that entry of national television news could reduce the provision of local news. We construct a novel dataset of U.S. newspapers’ economic performance and content choices from 1944 to 1964 and exploit quasi-random variation in the rollout of television to show that this new technology was a negative shock in both the readership and advertising markets for newspapers. Newspapers responded by providing less content, particularly local news. We tie this change towards increasingly nationalized news diets to a decrease in split-ticket voting across Congressional and Presidential elections.

Suggested Citation

Angelucci, Charles and Cage, Julia and Sinkinson, Michael, Media Competition and News Diets (February 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w26782, Available at SSRN:

Charles Angelucci (Contact Author)

MIT Sloan ( email )

100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Julia Cage

Sciences Po Paris Department of Economics ( email )

28 Rue des Saints-Pères
Paris, 75007

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

United Kingdom

Michael Sinkinson

Yale SOM ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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