The FCC Chair Has “Serious Concerns” About The Sinclair & Tribune Merger


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Last year Sinclair agreed to buy Tribune Broadcasting, which would give Sinclair ownership of Tribune’s locals and WGN America. The deal has faced strong scrutiny by Congress, the FCC, and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Now it is being reported that the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pais said he has “serious concerns.”

“The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law,” Said Ajit Pai.

Currently, the FCC has the review process for the Sinclair-Tribune deal on hold. The FCC has been waiting for an updated deal from Sinclair and the question now is whether this new deal will be enough to appease the DOJ and the FCC.

The deal is worth $3.9 billion for Tribune Media and will add more than 40 stations including KTLA in Los Angeles, WPIX in New York and WGN-TV in Chicago to Sinclairs list of local affilites. (Tribune also has stakes in the Food Network and job-search website CareerBuilder.)

Sinclair already has 173 stations around the country, including KENV in Salt Lake City, KOMO in Seattle and WKRC in Cincinnati. The Tribune deal, plus other pending acquisitions, will give Sinclair a total of 233 TV stations. But the Hunt Valley, Maryland-based company said it may sell some stations to comply with Federal Communications Commission rules.

For now, we will have to wait and see what happens next.

Source: The Hill

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