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article imageSinclair Broadcasting a national news competitor to Fox News?

By Karen Graham     Apr 23, 2019 in Business
Hunt Valley - Sinclair Broadcast Group, the massive local conservative broadcaster that's been criticized for pushing Pro-Trump talking points, has been hiring a slew of ex-mainstream news anchors as it pushes into national news coverage.
Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Sinclair owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to more television stations than anyone and has affiliations with all the major networks.
Sinclair is also in the running to buy a group of 21 Fox regional sports networks from Disney, and there is the possibility the deal could be announced later this week.
According to Forbes, Fox has indicated Sinclair Broadcast Group has submitted the highest bid—$10 billion for the RSNs - beating out groups led by Ice Cube's Big3 basketball league and John Malone's Liberty Media.
Why all this matters
The hiring of news anchors and the purchase of the sports networks suggests that Sinclair is preparing to go mainstream itself - putting the company into a position to be a national competitor to Fox News just in time for the 2020 presidential race. And of course, with a whole bucket of sports networks, they will also be competing with the big sports broadcasters.
Sinclair has tried something akin to what it's doing now before. In August 2018, Tribune Media announced on August 9, 2018, that it has terminated its $3.9 billion merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting and that it has filed a lawsuit for breach of contract, reported Axios.
Apparently, Sinclair had been accused of lying to the FCC about the terms of the deal and had not been fully transparent with the Tribune's board. If the deal had gone through, the merger would have created the largest local broadcaster in America.
A list of former news anchors
It is hard to tell for sure what Sinclair has up its sleeve, but it could be the company is looking to populate its local news channels with syndicated programs. To that end, they have created an impressive list of anchors:
Sinclair has hired former CBS News anchor Lara Logan for a three-month job as a special correspondent focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Sinclair has also picked up several former Fox News staffers, including veteran Fox News anchor James Rosen, former Fox News anchor Eric Bolling from CRTV, and Sebastian Gorka, a former Fox News contributor who was hired last year.
Axios reports that Sinclair won't need FCC approval to buy the sports networks because they are cable stations and the Department of Justice may find it easier to approve the sale.
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