Michael Copps: Sinclair-Tribune Merger Termination is a Major Victory for Democracy

Aug. 9, 2018 – Today, Tribune Media Company announced it terminated its merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group. The termination comes after the Federal Communications Commission designated the transaction for an administrative hearing. The $3.9 billion merger would have allowed Sinclair to reach 72 percent of households nationwide.

Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Advisor: 

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Good riddance to a really bad deal that would have given Sinclair an unprecedented amount of control of our local media. Broadcasters are supposed to serve the needs of the communities where they operate. But Sinclair has shown its only interest is taking over as many local stations as possible to become a national network at the expense of local programming and diverse viewpoints.  In the end there was massive opposition from all sides, which demonstrated Sinclair’s merger was clearly not in the public interest.

The strongest impact came at the grassroots level. Hundreds of thousands of people, including over 50,000 Common Cause members, called on the FCC to block Sinclair’s merger. It’s their victory and shows Americans want a media system that promotes local, diverse, and independent journalism. But Sinclair will be back with more deals, as will other media giants.  At a time when we need more independent and diverse voices in our media, we must all stay vigilant and engaged.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.​ www.commoncause.org