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FCC Investigating Sinclair's Lies In Failed Attempt To Take Over Tribune Media

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating whether Sinclair Broadcast Group "engaged in misrepresentation and/or lack of candor" with the agency when it was seeking approval of its $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media Co. in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tribune Media withdrew from the proposed merger last August, after the FCC releases a Hearing Designation Order, in which the agency criticized Sinclair for misrepresenting its plan to transfer control of several television stations to shell companies set up by the broadcaster.

"The record raises significant questions as to whether those proposed divestitures were in fact 'sham' transactions," according to the order.

If the FCC investigation determines that Sinclair did deceive the agency, it can order a hearing on the matter, according to the Journal report. This process could lead to significant fines or even the loss of broadcast licenses.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"Sinclair has been misleading and deceiving the FCC for years, setting up shell companies designed to evade agency limits and trying to undermine any rules that slow its expansion. Sinclair appears to have gotten caught lying to the FCC, forcing its strongest supporters at the agency to back away and oppose its last mega-deal.

"This deception is enough to put Sinclair's licenses in jeopardy, but there are many other reasons to investigate whether this company should be given so much power over the public airwaves. The company has used its platform to push partisan propaganda and replaced independent outlets with its slanted and centralized content. Sinclair has violated the public trust and misled the FCC, and this hearing could be the first step toward setting things right.

"Hopefully, an FCC investigation will be the start of holding Sinclair and other broadcasters responsible for their misuse of the public airwaves and ending runaway media consolidation that has harmed so many local communities. Possible sanctions against Sinclair, including the loss of broadcast licenses, represents an opportunity to embark on a new path for an agency that has enabled the merge-at-all-costs broadcast industry for far too long."


From an FCC commissioner:


See also: Warren, Sanders And Booker Critique Sinclair Regional Sports Networks Deal, Which Includes Partnership With Cubs.


Previously in Sinclair:
* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

* Trump's FCC Chair Continues To Shaft The Public, Offer Major Handouts To Big Media.

* Trump-Friendly Sinclair's Takeover Of Tribune TV Stations Brought To You By Trump's FCC Chairman.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Make The Air Fair.

* 'Maybe The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'

* A Pair Of Decades-Old Policies May Change The Way Rural America Gets Local News.

* Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

* Lawmakers Demand Answers About FCC's Favoritism Toward Sinclair.

* Can Anyone Stop Trump's FCC From Approving A Conservative Local News Empire?

* Sinclair's Flippant FCC Ruling.

* FCC Presses Sinclair For Answers On Tribune Merger.

* Trump FCC Eliminates Local Broadcast Main Studio Requirement In A Handout To Sinclair That Will Harm Local Communities.

* Trump's FCC Chairman Announces Plan To Scrap Media Ownership Limits Standing In Way Of Tribune-Sinclair Mega-Merger.

* Lisa Madigan et al. vs. Sinclair-Tribune.

* Local TV News Is About To Get Even Worse.

* Trump's Secret Weapon Against A Free Press.

* With Massive Handouts To Sinclair, FCC Clears Path To New Wave Of Media Consolidation.

* Trump FCC Opens Corporate Media Merger Floodgates.

* FCC Wraps New Gift For Sinclair.

* FCC Inspector General Investigating Sinclair Rulings.

* Behind Sinclair's 'Project Baltimore.'

* Don't Be Fooled By Sinclair's Shell Games.

* Free Press Sues The FCC For Dramatic Reversal Of Media Ownership Limits That Pave Way For Media Mergers.

* Thanks, Tribune Media, All You Did Was Weaken A Country.

* Sinclair-Fox Station Deal Enabled By FCC Is Dangerous For Democracy.

* The Sinclair Sham.

* Debunking The Broadcast Industry's Claims About Sinclair's Tribune Takeover.

* Surprise FCC Move Maims Sinclair-Tribune Merger.

* Sinclair Makes Last Ditch Effort To Salvage Tribune Merger. Will FCC Bite?

* Sinclair-Tribune Deal On Life Support.

* Sinclair-Tribune Deal Is Dead.

* Tribune Media Lawsuit: Belligerent Sinclair Blew A Sure Thing.

* Tribune Executives Will Get Bonuses After Sinclair Deal Collapses.


See also:

* Sinclair Broadcast Group Solicits Its News Directors For Its Political Fundraising Efforts.

* FCC Plans To Fine Sinclair $13.3 million Over Undisclosed Commercials.

* Sinclair's New Media-Bashing Promos Rankle Local Anchors.

* Sinclair's Latest "Must-Run" Segment Defends Tear-Gassing Refugees.

* Nexstar-Tribune Deal Is Bad News For Communities And Local Media.

* Dear FCC: Further Weakening Media-Ownership Limits Isn't The Answer.

* Free Press To FCC: Revoke Sinclair's Licenses If They Lied To You.

* Sinclair Broadcast Group To Acquire 21 Regional Sports Networks From Disney At A Valuation Of $10.6 Billion.

* Sinclair's Cubs Network Names Complicit GM.


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 27, 2019

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