1. SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP, Baltimore
2016 Spot Revenue: $2.9 billion (includes revenue of stations owned by Sinclair sidecar groups Cunningham Broadcasting, Dreamcatcher and Stephen Mumblow) Stations: 233 in 108 markets Coverage: 72% Ownership: Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) Key Executives: David Smith, executive chairman; Christopher S. Ripley, president-CEO; Frederick G. Smith, VP; J. Duncan Smith, VP, David B. Amy, vice chairman; Barry Faber, EVP-general counsel; Stephen J. Pruett, EVP/ chief TV development officer; Rebecca J. Hanson, SVP/strategy and Policy; Steven M. Marks, EVP-COO, Sinclair Television Group; Robert D. Weisbord, COO, Sinclair Digital.
In addition to its station buying spree over the past 12 months (see main story here), the Baltimore-based group generated plenty of other news: A shuffle in top management last November saw former president-CEO David Smith become executive chairman, handing over the president-CEO title to Christopher Ripley, formerly CFO. Ripley was succeeded by Lucy Rutishauser. Smith is now focusing on ATSC 3.0 development and expanding Sinclair’s news franchise.
In July, Sinclair and its partner MGM launched the sci-fi Comet diginet. It also agreed to pay the FCC $9.5 million to settle a retransmission consent decree. In September, it debuted the first of 40 planned drone teams at stations in six markets. It continued its leadership role in developing ATSC 3.0, the next-gen broadcast TV standard, with announcements of intent to use it to provide audience data to the industry.
In December, Sinclair announced its next diginet, the internet-focused TBD. That was followed a month later by the action-themed Charge! with MGM. This January, it unveiled OxMyx, an advertising co-op of TV station groups, aggregating inventory and selling it using programmatic ad technology developed by Visible World.
In February, Sinclair announced that it received $313 million from the FCC’s spectrum auction.
In March, Sinclair and Nexstar Media Group formed a consortium to ““promote spectrum aggregation, innovation and monetization and enhance their abilities to compete in the wireless data transmission sector.” The consortium, which will be jointly owned and controlled equally by Nexstar and Sinclair, has agreed to collaborate on a non-exclusive basis and the companies said the consortium “is intent on exploring the inclusion of other television broadcasting entities.” In June, they announced that Univision Local Media had also signed on, giving the consortium coverage of about 90% of the U.S.