James Careless /
11.07.2013 04:15 PM
ACA Asks FCC to Deny or Limit Sinclair Purchase of New Age Media Stations
ACA fears deal will give Sinclair effective control of two network affiliates in Tallahassee, Gainesville
Washington— The American Cable Association has petitioned the FCC to either deny or put conditions on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $90 million purchase of eight New Age Media TV stations. The ACA fears that the deal will give Sinclair effective control of two of the Big 4 network affiliates in Tallahassee and Gainesville; both of Florida. Such de facto control would give Sinclair extra clout when negotiating retransmission fees with cable TV companies.

The background: In order to conform to FCC local television ownership rules, Sinclair is selling “the license and certain related assets of ... WTLH [Fox] in Tallahassee, FL and WNBW [NBC] in Gainesville, FL to Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation,” said a Sinclair news release dated September 25, 2013. This will leave Sinclair directly owning/operating WTWC (NBC) in Tallahassee and WGFL (CBS) in Gainesville.

“Sinclair acknowledges that the Commission’s rules would not permit it to acquire all of these stations directly,” says the ACA’s filing to the FCC. “Instead it proposes to use Cunningham, one of its well-known ‘sidecar’ companies with which it has close and established ties, as well as explicit coordination agreements, to establish its ‘virtual duopolies’ in these markets. While Cunningham would nominally own these stations, Sinclair would retain many key station functions – including the ability to act as the stations’ ‘agent’ in retransmission consent negotiations.”

In response to such criticisms – most recently from the media watchdog Free Press in the Baltimore Sun – Sinclair President and CEO David Smith has countered, “every transaction we have entered into completely complies with the law and the regulations of the FCC and where required, as was true in most cases, were approved by the FCC after full disclosure of each aspect of our transactions.”

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

Sue Sillitoe, White Noise PR /   Tuesday 05:21 AM
Professional VoD/OTT Just Got Affordable With Visual Unity
Clyne Media, Inc /   Tuesday 07:54 AM
Auralex® Now Shipping New Deep6™ Low-Frequency Absorber

Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology