FCC has harsh words for Sinclair/Tribune deal

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 17:35:40-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission had some harsh words Thursday regarding a major media sale.

The FCC is considering the sale of Tribune Media, the parent company of WXMI – FOX 17, to Sinclair Broadcasting.

A “hearing designation order” was released by the FCC Thursday calling the sale of three stations in the group, including WGN in Chicago, a “sham.”

The stations in question were meant to be sold as part of Sinclair’s plan to meet the ownership cap required by law, but the FCC says it appears they are being sold below cost to people connected to Sinclair and would still be controlled by the company through operation agreements.

Tribune CEO Peter Kern released a statement saying “we will be greatly disappointed if the transaction cannot be completed…but will rededicate our efforts to running our businesses and optimizing assets.”

FOX 17 was another station in the group that was going to be sold to another company called Standard Media Group, and not Sinclair.