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Sinclair Broadcast Group - General Discussion


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26 minutes ago, Greggo said:

They have handled this so poorly. They need to go on air and say something. It’s not going away. It’s actually getting worse and going wider. They are losing advertisers and likely viewers. CNN and FTV both say the company that used to sponsor the 7-day forecast is among the sponsors who have yanked their ads. One local business even offered the weatherman a new job if he has in fact been fired. Anyone know where WICS ranks in the market, ratings-wise? 

 

They do have the advantage of two transmitters, so I can't see them being that low. I thought Nexstar's WCIA was always the leader, but I think WICS (and its satellite WICD) are 2nd ahead of Block's WAND, which is location-challenged.

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The second transmitter is probably irrelevant, especially since WICD is pretty much a total satellite of WICS now with no original content other than ids and maybe some ads.   The "Code Red"

Let's all understand something about TV...   When you go on the air and trash your employer, it's policies or practices ...EXPECT a bad outcome.   You may not agree, but they sign

It's another hit, but the $48 million is less than the $60 million cash it coughed up to Nexstar.   They probably have some bigger issues down the road with their finances, but will it put t

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3 hours ago, GoldenShine9 said:

 

They do have the advantage of two transmitters, so I can't see them being that low. I thought Nexstar's WCIA was always the leader, but I think WICS (and its satellite WICD) are 2nd ahead of Block's WAND, which is location-challenged.

The second transmitter is probably irrelevant, especially since WICD is pretty much a total satellite of WICS now with no original content other than ids and maybe some ads.

 

The "Code Red" is just worthless fear-mongering, that worsens the relationship between the viewer and the meteorologists.  It puts an undue burden on the meteorologists to hype up a weather event that may not live up to its potential harm, and can make the viewer less-trusting of them when it fizzles out or isn't the "eye candy" that it was hyped up to be.  And in the era of pissed-off viewers venting on stations for cutting into their programming, it only makes it worse when they have to.

 

I'm just waiting for Boris to chime in on this, bonus points if he brings up the "terrorism alerts" that were used during the 9/11 era....

 

Here's the bottom line (see what I did there?)

 

JUST LET THE METEOROLOGISTS DO THEIR JOB!!! 

 

They know the weather (at least the good ones do), and work in the best interest of their viewers to provide usable forecasts and potentially life-saving information.   While it's not technically required, most stations that can put out a forecast will be on-air covering a life-threatening weather event for the affected viewers, or at the very least, have the warning up on the screen through maps, graphics, or at the very least, and EAS alert.

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1 hour ago, tyrannical bastard said:

The second transmitter is probably irrelevant, especially since WICD is pretty much a total satellite of WICS now with no original content other than ids and maybe some ads.

 

The "Code Red" is just worthless fear-mongering, that worsens the relationship between the viewer and the meteorologists.  It puts an undue burden on the meteorologists to hype up a weather event that may not live up to its potential harm, and can make the viewer less-trusting of them when it fizzles out or isn't the "eye candy" that it was hyped up to be.  And in the era of pissed-off viewers venting on stations for cutting into their programming, it only makes it worse when they have to.

 

I'm just waiting for Boris to chime in on this, bonus points if he brings up the "terrorism alerts" that were used during the 9/11 era....

 

Here's the bottom line (see what I did there?)

 

JUST LET THE METEOROLOGISTS DO THEIR JOB!!! 

 

They know the weather (at least the good ones do), and work in the best interest of their viewers to provide usable forecasts and potentially life-saving information.   While it's not technically required, most stations that can put out a forecast will be on-air covering a life-threatening weather event for the affected viewers, or at the very least, have the warning up on the screen through maps, graphics, or at the very least, and EAS alert.

Danke. As much as I love my parents, their generation (Baby Boomers) just don't appreciate the fact that they do wall-to-wall weather coverage to save lives. They want the FCC to revert back to the old rules where you COULDN'T preempt regular programming to broadcast a Tornado Warning (and that's how many people lost their lives)

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2 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

Danke. As much as I love my parents, their generation (Baby Boomers) just don't appreciate the fact that they do wall-to-wall weather coverage to save lives. They want the FCC to revert back to the old rules where you COULDN'T preempt regular programming to broadcast a Tornado Warning (and that's how many people lost their lives)

 

Mind blown.  How could the FCC have thought that way back in the day, especially since denying people the access to life-saving information slaps in the face of a station operating in the public interest!

 

Then again, this was the days before doppler radar, computer satellite imagery, and even qualified meteorologists at the local level in many places. 

I remember the days when all you would see on the screen would be the "W" graphic...then came the weather icon graphics with "WATCH" and "WARNING", and later, the county maps with the appropriate watches or warnings in different colors.  And eventually, the "polygons" began to focus on affected areas within and encompassing counties.

 

Plus, even in the era before VCRs, DVRs and on-demand television, if a show was pre-empted, you were truly SOL.

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I know a lot of people are calling on WAND to hire Joe Crain, since they have an opening. However, that would be a legal disaster due to non-compete clauses - Sinclair would sue the heck out of them. Do adjacent markets trigger non-competes as well (say, if he took a job in Peoria?)

 

As a top free agent though, he'll find a job somewhere else much sooner most likely, my guess as a low to mid-market Chief Met. Unless The Weather Channel, WeatherNation or someone else wants to take him on?

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8 minutes ago, GoldenShine9 said:

I know a lot of people are calling on WAND to hire Joe Crain, since they have an opening. However, that would be a legal disaster due to non-compete clauses - Sinclair would sue the heck out of them. Do adjacent markets trigger non-competes as well (say, if he took a job in Peoria?)

 

As a top free agent though, he'll find a job somewhere else much sooner most likely, my guess as a low to mid-market Chief Met. Unless The Weather Channel, WeatherNation or someone else wants to take him on?

Typically no. However, some contracts say you can't work 75 miles (example number) from the station's transmitter or studio.

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23 hours ago, oknewsguy said:

Danke. As much as I love my parents, their generation (Baby Boomers) just don't appreciate the fact that they do wall-to-wall weather coverage to save lives. They want the FCC to revert back to the old rules where you COULDN'T preempt regular programming to broadcast a Tornado Warning (and that's how many people lost their lives)

 

Weather in Oklahoma is one thing. Weather in Ohio is completely different. The likelihood you are going to get hurt or killed in a storm in Oklahoma or Iowa is within the realm of reality. In a place like Ohio (except for the Dayton area), you probably have the same odds as getting hit with a bolt of lightning.

 

It's easy to just flip a switch and continue with regular programming on your .2 Channel. The customer is always right.

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3 hours ago, Georgie56 said:

Well, there's currently an opening for a meteorologist position at WICS, which means Crain probably got fired.

 

https://www.ftvlive.com/sqsp-test/2019/6/12/sinclair-posts-meteorologist-job-ad

 

They handled this absolutely horrendously. Making no effort to come clean on it, and just stealth moves, is just wrong. It has only made the community angrier. Even the anchors that made worse moves at other statements (like racial slurs or political statements) had stations come clear, apologize and then let them go publicly.

 

I guarantee you he'll find a better job somewhere else at a station not owned by Sinclair.

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On 6/11/2019 at 12:33 PM, DirtyHarry said:

 

Weather in Oklahoma is one thing. Weather in Ohio is completely different. The likelihood you are going to get hurt or killed in a storm in Oklahoma or Iowa is within the realm of reality. In a place like Ohio (except for the Dayton area), you probably have the same odds as getting hit with a bolt of lightning.

 

It's easy to just flip a switch and continue with regular programming on your .2 Channel. The customer is always right.

That's true the customer is usually right but in a case of a life-threatening situation, sorry but the customer is wrong.

 

Stations HAVE to preempt regular programming for any Tornado Warning for ANY part of their DMA, it's the law. If you don't the FCC could punish you and punish you hard.

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19 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

That's true the customer is usually right but in a case of a life-threatening situation, sorry but the customer is wrong.

 

Stations HAVE to preempt regular programming for any Tornado Warning for ANY part of their DMA, it's the law. If you don't the FCC could punish you and punish you hard.

 

No one tell Criminal Minds Lady.  😉

 

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19 hours ago, oknewsguy said:

That's true the customer is usually right but in a case of a life-threatening situation, sorry but the customer is wrong.

 

Stations HAVE to preempt regular programming for any Tornado Warning for ANY part of their DMA, it's the law. If you don't the FCC could punish you and punish you hard.

 

Not sure what law you are referencing , but what if I had no news department or wx team and I preempt Zoobilee Zoo....

 

What would I be required to run or replace it with?

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18 hours ago, Eat News said:

 

Not sure what law you are referencing but what if I had no news department or wx team and I preempt Zoobilly Zoo....

 

What would I be required to run or replace it with?

 

This. The only law is that the EAS message be aired aurally and visually.

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Sinclair's decision to have Crain axed from WICS/WICD was a bad idea, and basically opens them up to a wrongful termination lawsuit. This is the same group that laid off a reporter who was undergoing cancer treatment, so it tells you that they don't necessarily treat their employees that well all the time.

 

FWIW, here in OKC, their sister station, KOKH, had started using a system similar to the "Code Red" alerts but branded them as "Storm Watch Alert Days" ("Storm Watch" being the station's weather branding.") KOKH's system seems to only be used for SPC-issued slight risks and up; I haven't seem them use it during a marginal risk, which would not warrant such an alert as a "marginal risk" signifies isolated, often low-end severe thunderstorm activity.

 

This does pose a question, Sinclair isn't the only group that does this. So how is the "Code Red"/"Weather Warn"/"Alert Day" structurally different that the "First Alert Weather Day" initiative that Raycom started (which I assume was carried over after Gray took ownership of the Raycom stations), if at all? 

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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38 minutes ago, T.L. Hughes said:

Sinclair's decision to have Crain axed from WICS/WICD was a bad idea, and basically opens them up to a wrongful termination lawsuit. This is the same group that laid off a reporter who was undergoing cancer treatment, so it tells you that they don't necessarily treat their employees that well all the time.

 

 

Let's all understand something about TV...

 

When you go on the air and trash your employer, it's policies or practices ...EXPECT a bad outcome.

 

You may not agree, but they sign your paycheck.

 

If viewers want to revolt that's fine.

 

But, don't expect some judge to entertain a wrongful termination suit based on publicly trashing your employer, while on their dime, and using their toys.

 

And you wonder why stations won't let most on-air employees say "good bye" when the contract ends?

 

I wish him luck...but if you come on my TV station and trash my station or programs you can expect to see the door...and maybe a boot up your ass.

 

...and once you pull some stunt like that , the station management of other stations won't trust you on-air...no matter how popular you were at you last gig.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 6/13/2019 at 2:04 PM, T.L. Hughes said:

Sinclair's decision to have Crain axed from WICS/WICD was a bad idea, and basically opens them up to a wrongful termination lawsuit. This is the same group that laid off a reporter who was undergoing cancer treatment, so it tells you that they don't necessarily treat their employees that well all the time.

 

FWIW, here in OKC, their sister station, KOKH, had started using a system similar to the "Code Red" alerts but branded them as "Storm Watch Alert Days" ("Storm Watch" being the station's weather branding.") KOKH's system seems to only be used for SPC-issued slight risks and up; I haven't seem them use it during a marginal risk, which would not warrant such an alert as a "marginal risk" signifies isolated, often low-end severe thunderstorm activity.

 

This does pose a question, Sinclair isn't the only group that does this. So how is the "Code Red"/"Weather Warn"/"Alert Day" structurally different that the "First Alert Weather Day" initiative that Raycom started (which I assume was carried over after Gray took ownership of the Raycom stations), if at all? 

 

That's a good question re: Raycom's system. It has not made it to the Gray legacy stations though, and each of them had their own way of doing it (many did nothing at all). You can't really ask them, since the creators of that system may be working somewhere completely different now.

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On 6/13/2019 at 2:04 PM, T.L. Hughes said:

This does pose a question, Sinclair isn't the only group that does this. So how is the "Code Red"/"Weather Warn"/"Alert Day" structurally different that the "First Alert Weather Day" initiative that Raycom started (which I assume was carried over after Gray took ownership of the Raycom stations), if at all? 

 

It's semantics.  Code Red takes it a little too far over the top and should be reserved for a true emergency situation like a terrorism attack or weather event of the highest severity.

At least the "weather alert days" make it about the weather and hopefully make people more aware of the risks they could be exposed to instead of the "you're gonna die" mentality which if it's overdone and overplayed, people tune out especially if the storm does not live up to the hype....

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FCC calling:

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fcc-investigates-whether-sinclair-showed-lack-of-candor-when-trying-to-buy-tribune-11561600586?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

 

In a June 25 letter to Sinclair viewed by The Wall Street Journal, the FCC said it is investigating whether the nation’s biggest owner of local television stations “engaged in misrepresentation and/or lack of candor” with the agency when it was seeking approval for the $3.9 billion deal.

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3 hours ago, MidwestTV said:

I'm curious to know what a punishment would be if FCC concludes they did?

2 possible options for the FCC to punish Sinclair should this lead to a hearing:

 

`1. Sinclair faces hefty fine and apologizes (goes back to some sort of normalcy)

 

2. Sinclair would face the possibility of selling off the stations a la RKO General.

 

As I've been saying since the Tribune merger collapsed last year, Sinclair is going away in ways we haven't seen in our life times for most of us on this forum since many of us on here don't remember what the FCC did to RKO General. Keep in mind, selling stations in a forced liquidation doesn't happen very often but in such cases as this and with RKO General it is warranted. For this reason in MY opinion, Option 2 is the most likely option here. Feel free to disagree if you wish but this is what I've been saying for the past year so I'll stick to what I've been saying

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2 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

2 possible options for the FCC to punish Sinclair should this lead to a hearing:

 

`. Sinclair faces hefty fine and apologizes (goes back to some sort of normalcy.

Going by their chicanery involving Glencairn which eventually got legalized later on...this is probably what's going to happen, but also going by 'business as usual', the 'voluntary contribution to the United States treasury' will probably come with a statement where they don't admit to blame about anything. An RKO situation would be a unprecedented, but Ajit actually forcing an apology of blame out of Hunt Valley would be much smaller, but just as shocking (and 45 would probably pressure the FCC to keep the fine at 'a bit of the quarterly statement' levels).

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8 minutes ago, mrschimpf said:

Going by their chicanery involving Glencairn which eventually got legalized later on...this is probably what's going to happen, but also going by 'business as usual', the 'voluntary contribution to the United States treasury' will probably come with a statement where they don't admit to blame about anything. An RKO situation would be a unprecedented, but Ajit actually forcing an apology of blame out of Hunt Valley would be much smaller, but just as shocking (and 45 would probably pressure the FCC to keep the fine at 'a bit of the quarterly statement' levels).

I think the actions of what Sinclair did is enough to justify the FCC saying that the stations they own and/or operate needs to go or else, doesn't matter what President Trump says, because what you said in that part of the sentence is a clear indication to me that just a hefty fine by the FCC is not going to be enough in this case

Edited by oknewsguy
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And the process begins.... We don't know what the end result to all of this. Whether they'll get a hefty fine, or lose its licenses, etc., that's too early to tell. But I wouldn't be surprised if this would open up a brand new hearing, since the Media Bureau is now probing this matter. And it's great to start the process now because remember, next year 2020, Sinclair's crown jewels (WBFF & WJLA) are up for license renewals.

 

Here's the full letter from the FCC. With the list of info & documents the Commission is requesting (p.3-4 on the PDF).

 

Some of the info they're asking for from Sinclair:

Quote
  • 1. Describe all discussions Sinclair had with Steven Fader and/or WGN-TV, LLC as to who would control the programming, personnel, and finances of Station WGN-TV after WGN-TV, LLC’s purchase of the Station license, including but not limited to discussions regarding the following issues related to programming, personnel, and finances: (1) who would control the daily operations of Station WGN-TV; (2) who would carry out policy decisions for Station WGN-TV; (3) who would be in charge of employment, supervision, and dismissal of personnel for Station WGN-TV; (4) who would be in charge of paying financial obligations, including operating expenses for Station WGN-TV; and (5) who would receive monies and/or profits from the operation of Station WGN-TV, including but not limited to advertising revenues.
  •  
  • 2. Describe with particularity the role, if any, Sinclair had in the creation of WGN-TV, LLC. 
  •  
  • 3. Describe with particularity the role Sinclair had in the identification and selection of Steven Fader/WGN-TV, LLC as the proposed buyer of Station WGN-TV.
  •  
  • 7. Explain whether David Smith has a business relationship with Atlantic Automotive Corporation, and if so, the extent of that relationship (e.g., length of time, whether David Smith has now or has ever had a controlling interest therein). 
  •  
  • 8. Describe all discussions Sinclair had with Michael Anderson and/or Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation (Cunningham) as to who would control the programming, personnel, and finances of Stations KDAF and KIAH after Cunningham’s purchase of the Stations’ licenses, including but not limited to discussions regarding the following issues related to programming, personnel, and finances: (1) who would control the daily operations of Stations KDAF and KIAH; (2) who would carry out policy decisions for Stations KDAF and KIAH; (3) who would be in charge of employment, supervision, and dismissal of personnel for Stations KDAF and KIAH; (4) who Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. June 25, 2019 Page 4 of 9 would be in charge of paying financial obligations, including operating expenses for Stations KDAF and KIAH; and (5) who would receive monies and/or profits from the operation of Stations KDAF and KIAH, including but not limited to advertising revenues.

 

And it goes on to asking Sinclair for any documents that they haven't already submitted, like other agreements, loan guarantee, etc.

 

Sinclair has until July 9 to respond to this inquiry.

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