How Sinclair Broadcast Group Plans to Be the New Fox News

America's largest owner of broadcast TV stations has a big plans.

July 24, 2017 11:44 am

Locals news is getting more national.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of broadcast TV stations, is getting even bigger by purchasing Tribune Media Company. But, the little-known media conglomerate has its sights set on national networks and it plans to use President Trump to take them on.

Despite Sinclair’s ambitious goal, its management tries to cut costs with low-production broadcasts and frugal policies, Bloomberg reports. The media group currently owns 173 stations that are fed a daily set of video clips known as “must-runs.”

Three times a week, these mandatory packages include Trump surrogate Boris Epshteyn providing flattering commentary on the White House, as Sinclair’s chief political analyst. David Smith, the company chairman, justifies the move as a cost-cutting measure, but critics believe he’s trading favorable coverage in exchange for Sinclair-friendly FCC rulings.

The broadcast TV company needs the FCC to approve its $3.9-billion acquisition of Tribune Media, which Smith sees as integral to his vision for a nationally-recognized company. The deal would add 42 more TV stations to Sinclair’s purvue. Bloomberg reports the merger approval looks like a breeze compared to At&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, the parent company of the less Trump-friendly CNN.

Watch an Epshteyn commentary below.


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