The Coalition to Save Local Media issued the following statement in response to today’s FCC meeting:
“Today, the FCC took yet another step to pave an easier path for the proposed Sinclair-Tribune mega-merger at the expense of viewers and an independent, diverse, and local media. The FCC initiated a proceeding to, among other things, relax or eliminate the 39 percent national broadcast audience reach cap, which prevents a single voice from controlling our nation’s airwaves. This cap is statutory, intended to be enforced by the FCC, not amended by it.
“It is also clear that eliminating this cap would yield the greatest immediate benefit to Sinclair, which seeks approval for a merger that would give it unprecedented reach in American households and stifle local and independent media voices. Indeed, Sinclair is relying on the relaxation or elimination of the national ownership cap to complete its acquisition of Tribune. Without FCC action, the merger as presented would give Sinclair more than 39% national reach, in violation of the cap.
“While Sinclair has thus far failed to prove that their proposed merger is in the public interest, countless parties have raised serious questions about this merger including media organizations, distributors, independent networks, public interest groups, labor, and four state Attorneys General, including the Attorney General from both Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media’s home state.
“This merger should be denied.”