In Effort to Win Approval of Deal, Sinclair Plans to Sell Tribune’s WPIX-TV in New York and WGN-TV in Chicago

Feb 22, 2018  •  Post A Comment

“Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to sell [WGN-TV] in Chicago and [WPIX-TV] in New York, both owned by Tribune Media Co. as part of its bid to win approval to acquire Tribune,” reports Reuters.

Sinclair wrote about the plans in “a filing on Wednesday with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission,” the story says, adding “Sinclair, which is already the largest U.S. broadcast station owner, announced plans in May to acquire Tribune’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households, in a $3.9 billion deal.”

The article continues, “in a joint filing by the two companies, Tribune said it will file an application to sell WGN-TV in Chicago and WPIX-TV in New York ‘in order to come into compliance’ with FCC ownership rules. And Sinclair said it does not plan to acquire Tribune station KSWB in San Diego.”

Reuters also reports that “Sinclair said in the filing that to meet other ownership limits it will divest one or more stations in eight markets: Seattle; St. Louis; Salt Lake City; Oklahoma City; Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, North Carolina; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Richmond, Virginia; and Des Moines-Ames, Iowa.

“Sinclair said it is asking the FCC for consent to retain two stations in each of three markets in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana.”

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  1. Giving Sinclair more TV stations is not a good idea. Recently, Sinclair began “forcing” some cable companies to add The Tennis Channel, a satellite channel, to get better rates!! So, now, we have an Off-Air TV Broadcaster writing contracts so that cable operators need to add Satellite Channels that Sinclair owns in order to get better subscriber rates. Not great rates . . . just better rates than what they would get without. A la carte is not getting any closer and instead moves farther and farther away. Off-air monthly per channel subscriber rates for some cable operators is in the $2 to $3 range with expectations to reach $4 per channel per subscriber per month in just another year or two.

    I have nothing against The Tennis Channel but leveraging the additions of satellite channels in an off-air TV broadcast contract just doesn’t seem right and to my knowledge is unheard of.

  2. Sinclair is positioning itself to become the “official” TV voice of the United States. We have NEVER had this before and it should not be allowed now. Sinclair has been trying to create its own “Ministry of Truth” to greatly influence US politics and government. The FCC has tanked on this one and is allowing a moral if not legal violation of broadcast law.

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