CWA, NABET, and The NewsGuild join opposition to Sinclair-Tribune merger

The Communications Workers of America, NABET-CWA, and The NewsGuild-CWA filed reply comments at the FCC opposing the Sinclair-Tribune merger. The unions argued that the merger would reduce viewpoint diversity, harm localism, and reduce jobs.

“The substantial merger-related harm that would result from a Sinclair-Tribune combination – including massive consolidation in violation of Commission rules, the continued use of JSAs and SSAs to get around media ownership limits, the imposition of central casting to reduce localism and viewpoint diversity, and the associated job loss – simply cannot be resolved by station divestiture,” the comments read. “The Commission should deny the Sinclair-Tribune application.”

In addition, the unions warned of Sinclair’s corporate-driven “central casting” must-run segments, which replace local programming with programming originated from Sinclair’s corporate headquarters in Baltimore, MD. This policy forces stations to cover particular issues in a particular way with a particular – often right-wing – viewpoint, regardless of station decisions. “This is long-standing practice at Sinclair,” the unions said. “It is antithetical to the Commission’s localism principle.”

Earlier this year, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced a deal to purchase Tribune Media Company for $3.9 billion. Opposition to the merger has been growing since it was announced and includes groups from across the political spectrum from right-wing media groups like Newsmax and The Blaze to industry groups like the American Cable Association to public interest groups like Common Cause and Free Press.

 

Links:

CWA, NABET, TNG reply comments opposing Sinclair-Tribune merger (CWA, Aug. 29, 2017)

Sinclair to buy Tribune for $3.9 billion (Speed Matters, May 12, 2017)

Opposition to Sinclair-Tribune merger grows on left and right (Speed Matters, May 12, 2017)