Opposition to Sinclair-Tribune merger grows on left and right

Earlier this year, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced a deal to purchase Tribune Media Company for $3.9 billion. The deal, which was announced weeks after the FCC eased media ownership limits, would combine two media giants, resulting in fewer journalist viewpoints and job loss.

Opposition to the merger has been growing across the political spectrum.Public interest groups oppose the merger from a pro-consumer and anti-consolidation position. Public Knowledge, Common Cause, and the United Church of Christ, OC Inc. filed at the FCC a petition, joined by Free Press, to deny the merger.

Others in industry and right-wing media groups have also voiced their opposition to the merger. NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association and the American Cable Association both urged the FCC to deny the merger. Conservative media came out against the transaction, too. The Blaze, founded by disgraced former Fox News host Glenn Beck, urged the FCC to consider the merger carefully. And Newsmax, which was founded by a friend of President Trump, urged the FCC to deny the merger.

“A free and diverse press, a bedrock principle of American democracy, will be crippled by this proposed merger,” Newsmax said in its filing. “The level of media concentration proposed by this transaction will homogenize the content available to US consumers, eliminate unique viewpoints and reduce press diversity, especially in the delivery of local news.”

The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice are reviewing the merger. The deadline for public reply comments at the FCC is August 29.



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

Sinclair Deal Draws Unlikely Opponent: Conservative News Media (New York Times, Aug. 8, 2017)

Who’s Afraid of Sinclair Broadcasting? (Politico, Aug. 9, 2017)