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Media Corporations, Forms of

William M. Kunz


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Just as there are numerous kinds of media – from electronic to print, local to worldwide – so too are there many different forms of media corporations. There are corporations that are vast multinational conglomerates operating in unrelated industries and spanning the globe (→ Media Conglomerates ), and those that focus on a single medium in a solitary market. There are those that are closed or private corporations, owned and controlled within a limited group without shares for sale, and those that are public corporations, with stock traded on the open market. And there are public corporations with dispersed ownership spread across millions of shareholders, and those with a single individual or group with sufficient ownership to exercise control over the business. While there are countless differences between corporations, there are also important characteristics they have in common (→ Media Economics ). Investors and entrepreneurs often form joint stock companies and incorporate them to function as a business, but corporations can also be formed for political, religious, or charitable purposes and can be for-profit or not-for-profit organizations. The modern business corporation emerged in the United States in the 1800s, when most states passed general incorporation acts that granted perpetual life and extended to shareholders limited liability, two defining characteristics of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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