More Questions Than Answers From Sinclair’s Latest Filing
The Coalition to Save Local Media released the following statement following Sinclair Broadcast Group’s latest FCC filing:
“This week, Sinclair once again revised its proposal on how it plans to comply with media ownership rules in a filing with the FCC. Disappointingly, Sinclair’s filing remains just another smoke and mirrors plan that leaves many more questions than answers.
“Once again, Sinclair plays fast-and-loose with the FCC’s rules, failing to provide a concrete plan as to how it will actually come into compliance with the ownership limits. Rather, it provides the FCC with a placeholder list subject to further change.
“Instead of fully divesting stations, Sinclair admits it will skirt the rules through side deals with prospective buyers allowing Sinclair to continue to manage stations in New York, Chicago, Seattle and other markets, and giving it the ability to repurchase those stations at a later time. The Department of Justice has rejected these types of sham divestitures in recent broadcast-related consent decrees.”
“The bottom line is Sinclair has not been forthcoming in providing the clarity that the FCC, Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and other parties have requested and the shot clock should remain stopped until they do so. When this plan is ultimately produced, there should be meaningful time for review and public comment.
“Sinclair’s efforts to skirt the rules and duck serious questions does not hide the fact that this merger is not in the interest of consumers and would hurt local media across the country. We continue to call for this merger to be denied.”