The station group said the consent decree resolves DOJ concerns about the sharing of advertising pacing with other station groups. The settlement does not include an admission of guilt or involve any monetary damages for fines, Sinclair said. Other station groups are said to have been drawn into the investigation, but no word on whether they have settled.
Sinclair not only exceeded guidance in political advertising, it exceeded every other midterm election in the company’s history, and also exceeded political income earned during the 2016 presidential election. As Television Group EVP-COO Steven M. Marks put it: “We’re drunk on political.” It also announces it has settled with the Justice Department over allegations of sharing of ad sales info.
The increase to $730.4 million comes from higher political ad money plus greater contributions from retrans and its digital businesses.
The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik: “Sinclair is in my backyard with its headquarters in Hunt Valley. And while I suspect I have written more about it the last two years than any other media critic in the country, it’s not enough when an institution that sells itself as journalism is spreading a propagandistic message with the potential to further inflame the passions of a hyper-polarized country careening toward midterms.”
Equities researchers at Guggenheim initiated coverage on shares of Sinclair Broadcast in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage set a “buy” rating on the stock.
Jukin Media, a global digital media company, has signed a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group to take over operations of the company’s TBD Network that specializes in bringing digital-first programming to broadcast television as well as streaming it on TBD.com and the TBD app.
The company has achieved formidable reach by focussing on small markets where its TV stations can have a big influence. It’s unclear whether Sinclair is attempting to influence the politics of its viewers or simply appealing to positions that viewers may already have — or both. Sinclair’s stations – there are often several in the same broadcast area, branded as local ABC, CBS, NBC, or Fox affiliates – enjoy the trust of viewers because they appear independent, even though much of the content is dictated at a national level
The defunct retailer has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Media and other big owners of local TV stations conspired to jack up the prices of local commercials, violating federal antirust laws.
As of Monday, the FCC’s lone administrative law judge had still not weighed in as to whether he will shut down the designated hearing on allegations that Sinclair Broadcast Group misled the agency about its proposed $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media, leaving that serious “lack of candor” charge hanging over the company.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of U.S. TV stations, would need to team up with a private equity firm to bid for all of the 22 regional sports networks that Walt Disney Co. is selling as part of its $71 billion Fox deal, according Sinclair CEO Christopher Ripley.