NABET-CWA, coalition urge FCC to keep Sinclair-Tribune merger review clock paused

NABET-CWA along with 14 other members of the politically diverse Coalition to Save Local Media sent a letter to the FCC urging the Commission not to restart the Sinclair-Tribune merger review shot clock. The Commission paused the clock at the beginning of the year until Sinclair provides a divestiture plan that provides the Commission “full and complete record upon which to base its decision in this proceeding.”

Sinclair submitted a so-called divestiture plan that’s unclear and ambiguous. In short, it hasn’t met the Commission’s request and the Commission shouldn’t restart the clock until it does.

Sinclair's divestiture plan isn't sincere, it's a sham. The letter details the ways in which Sinclair's proposed divestitures fall short of an adequate, transparent plan. For example, Sinclair proposes to place 23 stations in 10 markets into a divestiture trust -- but it won't provide a definitive list of stations. Sinclair proposes to divest Tribune stations in New York (WPIX), Chicago (WGN), and San Diego (KSWB) -- but says it will enter into service agreements effectively allowing Sinclair to remain in control of the stations.

The members of the Coalition to Save Local Media “urge the Commission not to restart the shot clock until Sinclair submits, and staff and all interested parties have had a chance to review and comment on, a filing that is genuinely responsive to the [FCC] and sets forth clearly and unambiguously how Sinclair will comply with the ownership rules,” the letter says.

The Sinclair-Tribune merger would result in a massive broadcasting conglomerate that would reduce localism and viewpoint diversity, kill jobs, and harm consumers. The merger is not in the public interest and the should be denied.

Signers of the letter include the following Coalition to Save Local Media members: AWE: A Wealth of Entertainment channel, Cinemoi, Common Cause, Competitive Carriers Association, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, Indivisible– Herndon & Reston, International Cinematographers Guild, ITTA, Latino Victory Project, NABET-CWA, NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, OANN- One America News Network, Public Knowledge, RIDE TV, and the Sports Fans Coalition.

 

Link:

Letter from members of the Coalition to Save Local Media (FCC, Feb. 28, 2018)