WGN in Chicago is one of the station's Sinclair said it had found a buyer for. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sinclair Broadcast Group said Wednesday it would sell several television stations as it looks to bring its purchase of a group of Tribune stations into compliance with media ownership rules and win the blessing of regulators.

Why it matters: Even with the sell-off, the deal will make the right-leaning Sinclair far and away the most powerful local broadcaster in America.

What they’re saying: Sinclair said in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission that it plans to sell WGN in Chicago, WPIX in New York and KSWB in San Diego to comply with the overall cap on how many people a single broadcaster can reach. It has already found buyers for the New York and Chicago stations, according to the filing.

  • It indicated it would sell “one or more” stations in eight markets so that it wouldn’t violate ownership rules. One of the markets, Des Moines, Iowa, is where Democrats were worried the conservative Sinclair would be able to exert more power over a crucial political ad market.
  • But it has asked the commission to waive its prohibition on one company owning two of the top four stations in a market in three markets.

Broadcasting & Cable notes that many of the stations Tribune plans to sell will be put in a trust which could give regulators some room to change the sales needed to get the deal approved.

What’s next: The FCC will give the public a chance to comment on the updated merger application, and ultimately decide whether or not to approve the deal. The Department of Justice also has to sign off and has reportedly been having discussions with Sinclair about selling some stations.

Go deeper

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new measures on Monday to mute the microphones of President Trump and Joe Biden to allow each candidate two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate.

Why it matters: During September's chaotic debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, while Biden interrupted Trump 22 times.