Nov. 16, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission voted to eliminate longstanding rules governing media ownership – rules that are intended to protect local news coverage and guarantee a diversity of voices. As a result, we will face a drastic loss of local news coverage – and jobs – as media companies consolidate.
The changes, approved on Nov. 16, seem to be tailor-made for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which announced plans to buy Tribune Media in the spring, soon after the FCC lifted a cap on the number of stations a company can own. If the purchase is approved, it would give Sinclair access to more than 70 percent of television viewers in the United States.
Sinclair is notorious for insisting stations broadcast segments produced at its corporate headquarters. The “must-run” segments replace local programming and frequently feature commentary by former Trump White House official Boris Epshteyn.
“We must be vigilant – along with readers and viewers – and continue to fight for local news,” said NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer.