Actionable news
All posts from Actionable news
Actionable news in SBGI: Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.,

Opposition to Sinclair-Tribune Media Deal Draws Liberals, Conservatives

With Ajit Pai, a former Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) attorney, now in charge of the Federal Communications Commission, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI) is likely to receive the agency's approval for its proposed acquisition of Tribune Media Co. (TRCO) .

After all, Pai has routinely supported policies and merger proposals pushed by the country's largest telecommunications companies.

Yet a collection of disparate, seemingly incongruous groups has banded together in a last-ditch effort to draw public and congressional attention to a deal they say would be bad for consumers, bad for the public interest and bad for sustaining a diversity of views in local news gathering.

"This merger is unprecedented, and in our view is beyond the pale and scope of any merger proposal we've ever seen," said Matthew Polka, president and CEO of the American Cable Association, which has coordinated what he called "an informal group" to oppose the merger. "This merger would give Sinclair significantly more power and control that it already has."

The ACA, which represents small and midsize independent operators, filed a report on Monday, Aug. 7, with the FCC opposing the merger. Dish Network Corp. (DISH) has done the same.

Both Sinclair and Tribune Media denied to comment for this article.

If the FCC approved Sinclair's proposed acquisition of Tribune for $3.9 billion in cash and stock and the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt, the combined company would be a behemoth owning more than 200 local TV stations, with many markets including two or even three stations, each affiliated with separate broadcasters such as CBS, ABC, NBC or Fox.

Sinclair received a big shot of support from Pai's FCC in April when it revised local TV...