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The DOJ wants Sinclair Broadcasting Company to divest roughly a dozen local broadcast stations in competitive markets in order to get regulatory approval of its acquisition of Tribune Media Company, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The full Tribune acquisition would give Sinclair, a conservative-leaning broadcasting giant, unprecented access to the local TV market — roughly 70% reach. The DOJ's request reflects antitrust concerns in key areas, like St. Louis and Salt Lake CIty, where Sinclair would expand its footprint should the deal go through, per WSJ.

Progressives argue that the deal as stands would give Sinclair unprecedented access to local media markets.

  • The current deal, if approved, would give Sinclair over 200 stations that reach about 72% of U.S. TV households in 81 markets.
  • After the deal, Sinclair would own at least one station in each of the nation's top five media markets: NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phily and Dallas, per Axios' Kim Hart.

The deal, priced at $3.9 billion, still needs final approval from the FCC. That seems likely, given that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai eased media ownership caps earlier this year.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Report: U.S. calls for UN-led Afghan peace talks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in February. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter outlining a plan to accelerate peace talks with the Taliban that the U.S. is "considering" a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan outlet TOLOnews first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: In the letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, also obtained by Western news outlets, Blinken expresses concern that the Taliban "could make rapid territorial gain" after an American military withdrawal, even with the continuation of U.S. financial aid, as he urges him to embrace his proposal.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conversation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

Updated 6 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Thousands rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Demonstrators on March 7 outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, will begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.

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