Sinclair Draws Scrutiny Over Growth Tactic

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., America's biggest TV station group, is drawing fire for how it skirts media ownership limits by using "sidecar" agreements to run stations it doesn't own. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.

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Shenee Howard says:

October 21, 2013 at 9:47 am

This needs to be brought to more people’s attention so that the FDA can end this sham, which station groups like Sinclair and Nexstar use to skirt ownership regulations.

    John Murray says:

    October 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

    The FDA? I agree! We should get the FDA involved in the TV biz, along with the FAA (hey, we’re talking “airwaves,” right?), the FDIC, FEMA, FERC, FSA, and a few others too! On a more serious note, this is way much ado about nothing. What the WSJ article overlooks is the elephant in the room: The rules Sinclair is allegedly skirting essentially date back to 1934. Enough already.

    Joanne McDonald says:

    October 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I don’t think Nexstar abusive the ownership rule real bad unlike Sinclair and cares for their TV stations unlike Sinclair.

    Keith ONeal says:

    October 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    The FDA? What does the FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTATION (FDA) have to do with this? It’s the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC) that deals with these station ownership groups.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    October 22, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Just shows how most posters here are not involved in TV

Paul Vizard says:

October 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

Thanks bemused for the comment. Too much hate in the comments.

Maria Black says:

October 21, 2013 at 11:25 am

Why is Sinclair the target? They aren’t the most flagrant of abusers in ownership rules, some of these sidecar agreements are a farce with other companies. At least some of the Sinclair agreements seem to have the veneer of separate operations. I can think of another major duopoly company that buys its stations, fires 30% of the staff, and barely pretends to let the other station exist on it’s own.

    Ellen Samrock says:

    October 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    This is true. But by its own admission, Sinclair operates the largest number of TV stations in the U.S., and with their aggressive acquisition of stations they haven’t exactly made themselves inconspicuous. Plus, the conservative politics of the owners put them at odds with the administration and mainstream liberal press and this makes them a target as well.

Mike Anderson says:

October 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

the reality is, the broadcast industry is not the same as it was when the ownership rules were drafted. Broadcast now competes with the internet and hundreds of cable channels that did not exist when the ownership rules preventing more than one owner per market were made law. Its a different world now and for broadcast to stay in business in small and medium size markets there needs to be consolidation, it’s that simple.

Lance Vitanza says:

October 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Sinclair does not “break the rules” of ownership or “joint operating agreements”, it follows them. So if anyone has issue with one company operating multiple stations within a single market, it’s the FCC’s issue, not the broadcaster. Sinclair, and almost all major groups do this…not sure why anyone would find fault with this. But if they do, they certainly can file comment with the FCC.

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