Sinclair Broadcasting Group

FCC starts second round of media consolidation wars

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

The Federal Communications Commission is fueling the war over media consolidation by opening the door to another deregulatory spree targeting rules that stop local broadcasters from merging.

Why it matters: The FCC may have killed the Sinclair-Tribune deal, but the overall trend is towards fewer owners for local news outlets — which are still vital sources of information for many Americans.

What we're reading: Sinclair's quiet conservative media takeover

Sinclair broadcasting group sign.
uiPhoto: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

As consolidation in the media industry has reduced the number of news outlets over the past decade, Sinclair media has managed to imprint its political influence by focusing on local TV markets, writes the New Yorker's Sheelah Kolhatkar in "The Growth of Sinclair’s Conservative Media Empire."

Why it matters: Local news is trusted more than national news, per a poll from the Pew Research Center. As the largest owner of TV stations in the U.S., Sinclair reaches nearly 40% of American viewers with its 192 stations in 89 markets. "Sinclair has largely evaded the kind of public scrutiny given to its more famous competitor, Fox News."

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