The FCC Chair Has "Serious Concerns" About The Sinclair & Tribune Merger

FCC chair expresses 'serious concerns' about Sinclair's bid for Tribune

FCC chair expresses 'serious concerns' about Sinclair's bid for Tribune

"Based on a thorough review of the record, I have serious concerns about the Sinclair/Tribune transaction", Pai said in a statement. Perhaps most auspiciously, Pai approved rules past year that allowed broadcasters to own own far more stations than they were allowed previously, a regulation that seemed designed, to a suspicious degree, to help Sinclair.

In other words, an approved hearing order kicks off "a lengthy administrative process often viewed as a deal-killer", Politico pointed out. SBG said they would sell twenty-three stations, but enter into agreements with the purchasing entities to continue running stations in in Chicago and NY. In April, Sinclair forced its anchors to read a promotional campaign that echoed President Donald Trump's anti-media rhetoric.

Sinclair, which owns 192 stations, said in May 2017 that it planned to acquire Chicago-based Tribune's 42 TV stations in 33 markets. They fear that independent voices could be silenced in many communities after reports emerged of Sinclair dictating must-air programming with a decidedly conservative veiwpoint at many of its U.S. stations. Pai said the divestitures could allow Sinclair "to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law".

A hot potato: With the FCC's inspector general still presumably looking into conflicts of interest between Chairman Ajit Pai and Sinclair Broadcast Group, commissioners have ordered a hearing of divestiture disputes in the case.

Wood added that perhaps "the most interesting part of Pai's announcement is his recognition that several of the divestitures Sinclair proposed are a sham that would leave the company in control of stations it purportedly sells off to relatives and cronies of Sinclair executives".

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, the agency's sole Democrat, said she voted to send the merger to a hearing.

Trump trolled with 'traitor' tweet by Dictionary.com after Putin summit
A post-NATO trip to Britain, supposedly America's partner in a "special relationship", was riddled with controversy as well. For Trump, securing the sit-down was long on his agenda as part of a bid to smooth relations with Russian Federation.

The $3.9 billion deal would have allowed Sinclair, which was already the largest station owner in the US, to add 42 Tribune stations in such major markets as NY and Chicago, giving it more than 200 stations and access to 70 percent of American households.

Back in May 2017, Sinclair announced it had an agreement to purchase Tribune's television stations for nearly $4 billion.

Sinclair didn't respond to a request for comment.

Critics said the sidecar deals were an effort to evade the law while still allowing Sinclair, a right-leaning broadcaster, to spread conservative and pro-President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump's turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE programming. Tribune declined to comment.

"Republicans, Democrats and those that are concerned about the concentration of media power should join me in commending Chairman Pai", Christopher Ruddy, chief executive officer of Sinclair competitor Newsmax Media, said in an emailed statement. "The FCC is right to call out this scheme". It would create one of the largest broadcasting companies in the country and further consolidate the power of Sinclair, which owns almost 200 local stations throughout the US. "With this hearing designation order, the agency will finally take a hard look at its proposed merger with Tribune".

Recommended News

  • Apparent protester removed ahead of Trump-Putin conference

    Apparent protester removed ahead of Trump-Putin conference

    Putin spoke frankly on the topic of Crimea, saying that the U.S. delegation had expressed its view that the invasion was illegal. The US president instead questioned the FBI's investigation and asked about the whereabouts of one of their servers.
    Former UK minister calls for second vote on #Brexit to end stalemate

    Former UK minister calls for second vote on #Brexit to end stalemate

    Mrs May also addresses the 1922 committee and will be grilled on Brexit by the liaison committee of senior backbench MPs. But Theresa May has introduced a motion to end debates early, wrapping business up four days early.
    Alderweireld hints at Tottenham departure

    Alderweireld hints at Tottenham departure

    Spurs defender Alderweireld had nothing but good things to say for his club colleague though. His contract at White Hart Lane runs until 2019, but Spurs can extend it by a further year.
  • Bryce Harper will join seven newcomers at All-Star Game Home Run Derby

    Bryce Harper will join seven newcomers at All-Star Game Home Run Derby

    Bregman matched his career-high in home runs with his 18th and 19th in the Houston Astros' 6-5 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
    Newly Detected Particle Is Huge for Astronomy

    Newly Detected Particle Is Huge for Astronomy

    Detecting the highest energy neutrinos requires a massive particle detector, and IceCube is by volume the world's largest. With that further evidence, TXS 0506 is the first known accelerator of high-energy neutrinos and cosmic rays .

    Putin-Trump negotiations last two hours

    I really think the world wants to see us get along". "Russia is a foe in certain respects". Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman told NBC'S "Meet the Press".
  • Manchester United In Advanced Talks With Real Madrid Superstar

    Manchester United In Advanced Talks With Real Madrid Superstar

    I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will make the final decision - if they want to let me go. After the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo , Real Madrid could still lose Gareth Bale this summer.
    Trump sets expectations 'low' for Helsinki summit with Putin

    Trump sets expectations 'low' for Helsinki summit with Putin

    Huntsman , who is in Helsinki for the Trump-Putin powwow, said Russia's takeover of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 is on the agenda. Trump has baffled his own advisers at times with his unabashed desire for strong ties with Putin, White House sources have said.
    Home Run Derby 2018

    Home Run Derby 2018

    Schwarber will face Bryce Harper , who advanced through the first two rounds with a showy display of power at his home stadium. The six-time All-Star arranged to have his dad, Ron, pitch to him in the annual contest on the eve of the All-Star Game .
  • Syrians approach Israeli frontier as Assad assault closes in

    Syrians approach Israeli frontier as Assad assault closes in

    Regime forces have retaken the area of Mashara, Abdel Rahman added. "And we get along in Syria too", Trump said. Aid was also delivered to four other areas of Daraa earlier in the week, SARC said.
    US, North Korea generals meet to discuss return of Korean War remains

    US, North Korea generals meet to discuss return of Korean War remains

    Some 21 nations fought alongside the South Korean military during the three-year conflict as part of UN multinational forces. The U.S. government estimates that the North Korean government has about 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners in detention.
    British royals release new photos to mark Prince Louis’s christening

    British royals release new photos to mark Prince Louis’s christening

    These 4 photos were taken by celebrity photographer Matt Holyoak after the ceremony at The Chapel Royal at St James's Palace. Rounding out the four photos is a attractive mother-son portrait of the Duchess, 36, cradling her three-month-old son.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.