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

The Sinclair Broadcast Group floated a plan Wednesday to divest two Texas television stations in an attempt to salvage its proposed merger with Tribune Media, which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai designated for an administrative-law hearing on Monday due to "serious concerns" about the transaction.

Pai's Monday statement suggests that the divestitures Sinclair had previously proposed would be sent to a hearing because, in the chairman's words, 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."

"Sinclair's latest minor makeover of its mega-merger with Tribune doesn't look any better for the American public," said Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron. "This company has been misleading the FCC for years with front groups and shady arrangements to control local TV stations, undercut competition and evade FCC rules.

"Chairman Ajit Pai did the right thing on Monday when he put the brakes on this deal. He has the bipartisan support of his colleagues, and should release the order he circulated now that he has enough votes to adopt it.

"The FCC also has the backing of hundreds of thousands of people who have written the agency to protest the merger. Some paper-shuffling from Sinclair is no reason to change course. Stopping this merger is the right thing to do.

"The shell-company spinoffs in this deal are reportedly what led the FCC to send the proposed merger to an administrative-law judge. Sinclair has dozens of identical shell operations in numerous markets around the country. If the new ones were improper, so are all the existing ones. Sinclair is in violation of the FCC's rules, and no amending this application can fix that."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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See also:

* Bloomberg: Sinclair Rout Deepens After Offer To Revise Sales Of TV Stations.

* Radio + Television Business Report: Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Sinclair 'Amends' Tribune Deal Again.

* Law360: FCC's Sinclair-Tribune Protest Preempted DOJ Approval.

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Previously:
* 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.

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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.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on July 18, 2018


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