WJAR’s Parent Company Sinclair is Big Winner In Trump Administration FCC Reg Rollback
Friday, November 17, 2017
This change is considered a big win for WJAR-10’s parent company Sinclair.
The conservative broadcasting company is in the midst of a deal to acquire Tribune Media for $3.9 billion. Under the previous and long-standing rules, Sinclair would have had to sell off dozens of stations as part of the merger's approval.
Sinclair has deep tied to the Trump administration.
In July, GoLocal reported, HBO’s John Oliver show this week focused on “right-wing bias” of Sinclair Broadcasting — the nation’s largest owner of local television stations and Providence’s WJAR-10’s parent company.
“Oliver on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight" on Sunday said that Sinclair's right-wing bias rivaled that of Fox News and Breitbart and expressed caution over the planned merger, saying would it inject conservative views into local news broadcasts,” writes Ali Berland at The Hill.
“I did not know it was possible to dip below the journalistic standards of Breitbart,” said Oliver. “That’s like being too bad a chef to work at a carnival food cart.”
In August, HuffPost reported that there is growing concern about Sinclair using local news to promote conservative views, "Michael Copps, a former FCC commissioner and now a special adviser to Common Cause, said Sinclair 'is the most dangerous company most Americans haven’t heard of.' And Copps specifically questioned the ideological implications of the Maryland-based broadcast company imposing segments ― such as commentaries from former Trump White House official Boris Epshteyn ― onto local newscasts.
'So much for community news. So much for real news. So much for journalism. So much for fair and open media,' Copps lamented. 'No one company should have such power over the news and information that citizens must have.'"
FCC’s Ruling and Newspapers
“These actions will provide broadcasters and local newspapers with a greater opportunity to compete in the digital age and will help ensure a diversity of viewpoints in local markets,” said the FCC in a statement.
“Congress requires the Commission to review its broadcast ownership rules every four years to determine if they are in the public interest as the result of competition and if not, to repeal or modify them. For too long, the Commission has failed to acknowledge the pace of change in the media marketplace by maintaining analog broadcast ownership rules that do not reflect today’s digital age. For instance, the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule that the Commission eliminates today dates back to 1975. By modernizing these outdated rules, broadcast stations and local newspapers will be able to more easily invest in local news and content and improve service to their local communities for the benefit of consumers,” writes the FCC.
Related Slideshow: Who Really Owns Rhode Island’s Media
Statewide media organizations -- newspaper, television, radio, and digital.
Providence Journal --> GateHouse --> New Media Investment Group --> Fortress --> SoftBank
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Total Newspapers: 125 Daily Newspapers, 600 Community
WJAR-10 --> Sinclair Broadcasting
Location: Hunt Valley, Maryland
Total Stations: 233 Stations
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