Variety cover story, about the deal by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, which includes "must-run" conservative commentary in local newscasts, to buy the giant Tribune Media:

  • "Sinclair's conservative credentials are seen as the reason newly appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai moved quickly ... to pave the way for the Sinclair-Tribune deal ... that would bring together more than 200 stations that reach some 72% of U.S. TV households in 81 markets, including 39 of the nation's 50 largest markets."
  • "The combined entity would become a broadcast colossus the likes of which the industry has never seen."
  • "Sinclair has generated controversy by mandating all of its stations run [former Trump official Boris] Epshteyn's nine-times-weekly 'Bottom Line With Boris' commentary segments. The former Trump strategist has unfailingly supported his ex-boss in virtually all of his two-minute segments."
  • Why it matters: "The size and scope of Sinclair after absorbing Tribune has accelerated the M&A fever that was already brewing among TV station owners large and small. Everyone ... predicts the local TV landscape will be transformed by a wave of consolidation in the next two to three years."

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Podcasts

Facebook boycott organizers share details on their Zuckerberg meeting

Facebook is in the midst of the largest ad boycott in its history, with nearly 1,000 brands having stopped paid advertising in July because they feel Facebook hasn't done enough to remove hate speech from its namesake app and Instagram.

Axios Re:Cap spoke with the boycott's four main organizers, who met on Tuesday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, to learn why they organized the boycott, what they took from the meeting, and what comes next.

Boycott organizers slam Facebook following tense virtual meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Civil rights leaders blasted Facebook's top executives shortly after speaking with them on Tuesday, saying that the tech giant's leaders "failed to meet the moment" and were "more interested in having a dialogue than producing outcomes."

Why it matters: The likely fallout from the meeting is that the growing boycott of Facebook's advertising platform, which has reached nearly 1000 companies in less than a month, will extend longer than previously anticipated, deepening Facebook's public relations nightmare.

Steve Scalise PAC invites donors to fundraiser at Disney World

Photo: Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s PAC is inviting lobbyists to attend a four-day “Summer Meeting” at Disney World's Polynesian Village in Florida, all but daring donors to swallow their concern about coronavirus and contribute $10,000 to his leadership PAC.

Why it matters: Scalise appears to be the first House lawmakers to host an in-person destination fundraiser since the severity of pandemic became clear. The invite for the “Summer Meeting” for the Scalise Leadership Fund, obtained by Axios, makes no mention of COVID-19.