Sinclair-Tribune deal would create conservative "broadcast colossus"

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."

What's next

New York Times endorses Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for president

Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warrenand Sen. Amy Klobuchar at the December 2020 debatein Los Angeles. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The New York Times editorial board has endorsed Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for president, in a decision announced on national television Sunday night.

Why it matters: The board writes in its editorial that its decision to endorse two candidates is a major break with convention that's intended to address the "realist" and "radical" models being presented to voters by the 2020 Democratic field.

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What's next in the impeachment witness battle

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senators will almost certainly get to vote on whether or not to call impeachment witnesses. The resolution laying out the rules of the trial, which will be presented Tuesday, is expected to mandate that senators can take up-or-down votes on calling for witnesses and documents.

Yes, but: Those votes won't come until the House impeachment managers and President Trump's defense team deliver their opening arguments and field Senators' questions.

Inside Trump's impeachment strategy: The national security card

White House counsel Pat Cipollone and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Trump officials say they feel especially bullish about one key argument against calling additional impeachment witnesses: It could compromise America's national security.

The big picture: People close to the president say their most compelling argument to persuade nervous Republican senators to vote against calling new witnesses is the claim that they're protecting national security.