Thursday, August 10, 2017

Trouble for Sinclair/Tribune merger?

Resistance to this deal, which is still not officially completed, is coming from some truly unexpected sources. Tom Taylor's NOW column reports...

DOJ issues a “second request” to Sinclair and its target Tribune. That for sure delays the process that would let TV titan Sinclair add 42 television licenses plus Chicago’s talk radio station WGN/720. You wonder if the increasing heat from all corners of the spectrum is being felt at the Department of Justice. Progressives started protesting the deal when it was announced. But now Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze co-signs an objection to the mega-merger along with the One America News Network. Conservative-leaning Newsmax doesn’t like the proposal that would make Baltimore-based Sinclair by far the largest TV station owner... Sinclair would own 220 TV stations and cover 72% of U.S. households – far exceeding the FCC’s historic 39% limit. Meanwhile at WGN radio, they’re prepping to move out of Tribune Tower – something that will happen regardless of who owns WGN.

I almost don't care why the DOJ or FCC is suddenly developing a conscience. If this pause makes people look at the merger more closely, I'm all for it.