Sinclair Broadcasting To Pay Record Fine

Here is a list of Iowa Sinclair stations:

KGAN/KFXA Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque-Iowa City
KDSM-TV Des Moines
KPTH Sioux City 
KTVO Ottumwa-Kirksville, MO

Check out BFIA’s previous articles on Sinclair Broadcasting here

Sinclair Broadcast Group agreed to pay a record $48 million civil penalty to settle three Federal Communications Commission investigations, including the company’s disclosure of information related to its proposed acquisition of Tribune Media, which was withdrawn in 2018.

“Sinclair’s conduct during its attempt to merge with Tribune was completely unacceptable,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a news release Wednesday. “Today’s penalty, along with the failure of the Sinclair/Tribune transaction, should serve as a cautionary tale to other licensees seeking Commission approval of a transaction in the future.”

The fine is the largest in the 86-year history of the FCC. It also closes investigations into whether Sinclair negotiated retransmission agreements with cable networks in “good faith” and the company’s failure to properly identify the sponsor of content it produced for its owned and affiliated TV stations.

Sinclair agreed to buy Chicago-based Tribune Media’s 42 TV stations for $3.9 billion in May 2017. The deal was derailed after the FCC voiced concerns that Sinclair may have attempted to skirt ownership rules by misrepresenting station sales to meet regulatory limits.

The agreement to sell Chicago’s WGN-Ch. 9 for $60 million to a newly formed company headed by Steven Fader, a longtime business associate of Sinclair Executive Chairman David Smith with no previous broadcast experience, was cited at length in the FCC order.

Amid scrutiny by regulators, Tribune Media pulled the plug on the deal in August 2018.

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