Sen. Durbin speaks out against Sinclair-Tribune merger

Senator Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to FCC Chairman Pai opposing the Sinclair-Tribune merger, which is currently under review at the agency. The $3.9 billion deal would result in a broadcasting behemoth, violate FCC rules, reduce viewpoint diversity, and harm localism by threatening local weather and sports reporting.

“The proposed acquisition of the Tribune Media Company by the Sinclair Broadcast Group is not in the interest of the American people—it would threaten diversity and localism in broadcasting, ignore the unique concerns and interests of local audiences, and harm competition,” Sen. Durbin’s letter read. “Congress explicitly directed the FCC to establish limits to how many households a single broadcasting company could reach because it recognized the public benefit gained from televising diverse range of opinions and maintaining robust competition in broadcasting. Approving the proposed merger would go directly against this intent.”

Opposition to the merger has been growing 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, Free Press, and Public Knowledge. Senator Durbin is the latest lawmaker to weigh in. Senator Blumenthal (D-CT),  Reps. Pallone (D-NJ), Doyle (D-PA), and DeGette (D-CO) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have also signaled their concern over the merger.



Letter from Senator Durbin to Chairman Pai opposing Sinclair-Tribune merger (US Senate, Oct. 30, 2017)

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