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Sinclair Broadcast Group - General Discussion


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1 hour ago, GodfreyGR said:

With MLB taking broadcasting in-house with the bankruptcy (as they have claimed they are prepared to do), I see deals with Fox O&O's, for example, to put MPB on the MyNets (WFTC in Minneapolis, KUTP Phoenix, KDFI Dallas, etc.)

 

They could brand it as "MyBall". ūüėŹ

 

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And remember, greed when it came to retran fees is what accelerated the decline. I think when I cut the cord, retran fees were about $22, and then there was a sports surcharge taking it up to $30 on top of the regular bill. That's when I said, "No thanks."

Edited by DirtyHarry
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11 hours ago, GodfreyGR said:

With MLB taking broadcasting in-house with the bankruptcy (as they have claimed they are prepared to do), I see deals with Fox O&O's, for example, to put MLB on the MyNets (WFTC in Minneapolis, KUTP Phoenix, KDFI Dallas, etc.)

 

It would be really nice to see Rangers baseball back on KDFI and KDFW (Should KDFW preempt daytime programming).

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Diamond Sports has officially missed their interest payment and is entering the 30-day grace period. If they don't get a financial miracle they will file for Chapter 11 on March 15th. 

 

For the time being, nothing will change for the Bally Sports RSNs operationally. If they file for bankruptcy and start missing payments to teams, that's when major issues begin. 

 

https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Daily/Issues/2023/02/15/Media/diamond-sports-group.aspx

Edited by Manny NYC
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8 hours ago, TexasTVNews said:

 

It would be really nice to see Rangers baseball back on KDFI and KDFW (Should KDFW preempt daytime programming).

I just don't see any Big-Four pre-empting any programming if they have a viable alternative they can consistently send a viewer to for a product with varying times like MLB. If I'm watching KMSP with an antenna, it's easy- Fox9 is 9.1, WFTC (MyNet/Fox9+) is 9.2. Different acrobatics if you (still) have cable/satellite. Apply that to DFW or the market of your choosing. 

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  • 1 month later...

FTVLive is getting reports that layoffs are going down at Sinclair stations....including WGXA and WACH. 

https://www.ftvlive.com/sqsp-test/2023/3/17/just-in-layoffs-going-down-at-sinclair-stations

 

Earlier, all local newscasts were cancelled on sister station WFXL in Albany, so could this be the end of local news in both of these markets as well?

 

Now that the Bally Sports joint venture has filed for bankruptcy, I wonder how much Sinclair is on the hook for....

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5 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

FTVLive is getting reports that layoffs are going down at Sinclair stations....including WGXA and WACH. 

https://www.ftvlive.com/sqsp-test/2023/3/17/just-in-layoffs-going-down-at-sinclair-stations

 

Earlier, all local newscasts were cancelled on sister station WFXL in Albany, so could this be the end of local news in both of these markets as well?

 

Now that the Bally Sports joint venture has filed for bankruptcy, I wonder how much Sinclair is on the hook for....

 Flint, MI duopoly WEYI/WSMH are supposedly on the chopping block as well, although it hasn't been verified yet (reader reported)

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1 hour ago, mre29 said:

I'm honestly surprised Sinclair hasn't started selling stations. That seems like a sure-fire way to recoup some losses.

 

True, but nobody's buying. 

 

We are in the beginnings of a recession in a economy where banks are risk adverse, and in this media landscape, taking on Cable/OTA station is one of the most risky ventures for a financial institution. 

 

Private equity isn't interested because unlike in 2008, interest rates are high for the banks who are willing to lend. 

Edited by elfuego35
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35 minutes ago, elfuego35 said:

True, but nobody's buying. 

 

We are in the beginnings of a recession in a economy where banks are risk adverse, and in this media landscape, taking on Cable/OTA station is one of the most risky ventures for a financial institution. 

 

Private equity isn't interested because unlike in 2008, interest rates are high for the banks who are willing to lend. 

 

Many of their stations are very low rated too. They tend to be 3rd or 4th place in many of their markets.

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In Macon, I wonder how much of their news they cut.   WGXA has traditionally been the #2 station far behind WMAZ, I wonder if Morris' WMGT has surged ahead.

 

And now with WPGA being traded to Gray, its practically a station set up to get its last laugh, if they succeed in luring away ABC and/or FOX from WGXA.

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21 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

In Macon, I wonder how much of their news they cut.   WGXA has traditionally been the #2 station far behind WMAZ, I wonder if Morris' WMGT has surged ahead.

 

And now with WPGA being traded to Gray, its practically a station set up to get its last laugh, if they succeed in luring away ABC and/or FOX from WGXA.

 

That may be more likely to happen now. I believe the plan is to completely eliminate local news on WGXA.

Edited by GoldenShine9
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3 hours ago, GoldenShine9 said:

 

That may be more likely to happen now. I believe the plan is to completely eliminate local news on WGXA.

This and other cutbacks could be ways to sell off other assets to raise some quick cash.  The parts of these stations are likely more the whole package.   Sinclair probably has them stripped so bare that no owner would buy them outright. 

 

In a place like Macon where Sinclair can't afford to keep the lights on yet Gray is buying a station could make for a quick sale of an affiliation contract or two.  And if Sinclair's ties to Diamond being in bankruptcy can constitute an "out", then we could see ABC and/or FOX on WPGA again.   

 

When WGXA is no longer worth Sinclair's while, they sell off the license to any willing party.  If it gets stripped of it's networks, it will be like one of the Howard Stirk stations running the low-rent diginets from a broom closet out of another Sinclair station, since the main studio rule is no more.

 

Aside from Mobile/Pensacola, Charleston and West Palm Beach, this part of the country is a virtual no-mans land for Sinclair and their stations are spokes with little local content on them. What is "local", is piped in from another market.   Macon supplied content to Albany, and when that came to an end, so did the local content.  Now with Macon potentially losing the ability to produce local content, the void grows larger, and where will it come from?

 

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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15 hours ago, mre29 said:

I'm honestly surprised Sinclair hasn't started selling stations. That seems like a sure-fire way to recoup some losses.

 

 

What losses? 

 

They and their partners put less than a billion down. The banks are stuck with the loss. Unlike you and me, the big boys don't have to pay. I'm sure they got a non-recourse loan.

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And the hammer has dropped at WPMI in Mobile.  

https://www.lagniappemobile.com/news/deep-cuts-at-local-tv-station/article_52a2f324-ca89-11ed-accd-17afb130f97d.html (paywalled story)

 

To sum it up, the 5-7 AM newscast, noon show and lifestyle program Gulf Coast Today will be cancelled.  The National Desk will replace the 5-7 newscast with "local cut-ins" beginning on April 17th.  The current 5, 6 and 10 newscasts, along with the 5 & 10 weekend newscasts will remain.  Around 20 people were laid off.

 

And yet, WEAR in Pensacola is seemingly unscathed, with no changes on the horizon.

 

Sad, sad day in Mobile and for any Sinclair station that has gone through this, or is about to go through this. 

 

And as a sidenote, the Lagniappe (where the story came from) is now the only newspaper in Mobile (that still prints one).  They have a reverse paywall where the print paper is FREE while the website costs $$$ to access.)  The former "newspaper" AL.com ceased printing this past February, but they've been irrelevant since they Tegna-fied themselves a decade ago like most of the other Advance papers.  The news void in Alabama continues to grow.....

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On 3/24/2023 at 7:05 PM, tyrannical bastard said:

And the hammer has dropped at WPMI in Mobile.  

https://www.lagniappemobile.com/news/deep-cuts-at-local-tv-station/article_52a2f324-ca89-11ed-accd-17afb130f97d.html (paywalled story)

 

To sum it up, the 5-7 AM newscast, noon show and lifestyle program Gulf Coast Today will be cancelled.  The National Desk will replace the 5-7 newscast with "local cut-ins" beginning on April 17th.  The current 5, 6 and 10 newscasts, along with the 5 & 10 weekend newscasts will remain.  Around 20 people were laid off.

 

And yet, WEAR in Pensacola is seemingly unscathed, with no changes on the horizon.

 

Sad, sad day in Mobile and for any Sinclair station that has gone through this, or is about to go through this. 

 

And as a sidenote, the Lagniappe (where the story came from) is now the only newspaper in Mobile (that still prints one).  They have a reverse paywall where the print paper is FREE while the website costs $$$ to access.)  The former "newspaper" AL.com ceased printing this past February, but they've been irrelevant since they Tegna-fied themselves a decade ago like most of the other Advance papers.  The news void in Alabama continues to grow.....

They probably would have sold it but "Community News Media" or whichever of the ten million interrelated dumb company names they'll use that all lead back to you know who they are, have other things they have to deal with. 

 

All this cutting they're doing and the only thing they were willing to give up was KBSI. 

 

Honestly, WPMI, as well as WPGH, WHP, WXLV, KDSM, everything in Oklahoma and Arkansas, and WUTV would have been the NEXT stations I'd have sent off elsewhere. 

 

 

 

Edited by ColtFromGulfcoast
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On 3/24/2023 at 8:05 PM, tyrannical bastard said:

And the hammer has dropped at WPMI in Mobile.  

https://www.lagniappemobile.com/news/deep-cuts-at-local-tv-station/article_52a2f324-ca89-11ed-accd-17afb130f97d.html (paywalled story)

 

To sum it up, the 5-7 AM newscast, noon show and lifestyle program Gulf Coast Today will be cancelled.  The National Desk will replace the 5-7 newscast with "local cut-ins" beginning on April 17th.  The current 5, 6 and 10 newscasts, along with the 5 & 10 weekend newscasts will remain.  Around 20 people were laid off.

 

And yet, WEAR in Pensacola is seemingly unscathed, with no changes on the horizon.

 

Sad, sad day in Mobile and for any Sinclair station that has gone through this, or is about to go through this. 

 

And as a sidenote, the Lagniappe (where the story came from) is now the only newspaper in Mobile (that still prints one).  They have a reverse paywall where the print paper is FREE while the website costs $$$ to access.)  The former "newspaper" AL.com ceased printing this past February, but they've been irrelevant since they Tegna-fied themselves a decade ago like most of the other Advance papers.  The news void in Alabama continues to grow.....

 

WEAR is much higher-rated and they tend to focus more on the Florida side of the market.

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I guess time will tell how these stations will do until the affiliations are up. 

 

In a world where stations are adding newscasts left and right (with the decline of syndication and potential pullback by the networks in the coming years), a station like WPMI is doomed because of Sinclair's desire to "control" 4 stations  in a market, and is limited by what they can put on their station (the 15% rule).

 

What we could be seeing is the rise of NewsCentral 2.0.  Didn't they already learn their lesson from this boondoggle 20 years ago?  Instead of netlet and other weak affiliates getting a so-called local newscast, it's going to trickle down to a select group of Sinclair-run stations that can't cut it in their market. Now if they're really in deep trouble, it could trickle up to the larger stations as well.

 

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On 3/26/2023 at 1:17 AM, tyrannical bastard said:

In a world where stations are adding newscasts left and right (with the decline of syndication and potential pullback by the networks in the coming years), a station like WPMI is doomed because of Sinclair's desire to "control" 4 stations  in a market, and is limited by what they can put on their station (the 15% rule).

 

Wait....what?

 

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27 minutes ago, mre29 said:

 

Wait....what?

 

Broadcast licensees are limited to producing no more than 25 hours of local programming per week (15% of the station’s weekly schedule) for a station it operates through an outsourcing agreement (shared services, joint sales and local marketing agreements or some combination) in conjunction with a station it owns and operates outright.

 

While there’s a reason why it was put in place when the FCC revised the LMA rules in 1996, the 25-hour limit logistically no longer makes sense in this day and age, when many stations carry 35+ hours of local programming per week and syndicated programming availability for stations in larger and mid-sized markets has started to decline correspondingly.

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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Surprisingly, Mobile/Pensacola is one of the only Sinclair markets to have not moved LMA/SSA station feeds to their owned and operated stations.  That could be with WPMI's NBC affiliation, and if it is contractually tied to WPMI, and cannot be moved to WFGX or WEAR as a primary or secondary subchannel, much like Sinclair has done in other markets like Columbus and Charleston.

 

Meanwhile, stations like WALA continue to run away with expanding their local programming, and with the recent cancellations of Dr. Phil, Judge Mathis, and the People's Court, there goes the last of their daily syndication, clearing the way for Gray to put the KVVU model of news from sunrise to sunset.

 

FTVLive picked up on a Twitter thread from a former employee, describing his experience working at WPMI, and how the belt tightening has been going on for a while now...

https://www.ftvlive.com/sqsp-test/2023/3/26/sinclair-continues-to-cut

 

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Sinclair has itself to blame, but also has Rupert Murdoch to share it with them. The company chose to grow its station portfolio as fast as it did, even though it had not long before its 2010s buying spree, had quite a bit of debt on its hands.

 

On the RSN front, Sinclair chose to partner with Allen Media to buy the Fox Sports regional networks at a time when cord-cutting was increasing, and exacerbated things by, not long after taking over the company, making fee demands that wound up greatly reducing Bally Sports’ vMVPD distribution to where DirecTV Stream was the only live TV streamer carrying them; this, in turn, made it nearly impossible for the company to be able to pay down the debt it inherited from the purchase.

 

By the time Diamond Sports got Fubo to bring back the Bally Sports networks a few months ago, cord-cutting had reached a point where the costs of a company like Sinclair operating an RSN became prohibitive. Diamond’s financial issues must have some ripple effect on Sinclair’s bottom line to where it’s making cuts to try to recoup the losses, on top of the affected stations’ moribund performance. Of course, a better solution to repay the losses would be to try to divest stations to AMG or other groups with significant cap room and use the proceeds to lower its debt load.

 

I doubt Fox Corporation would’ve made the same mistakes that Diamond/Sinclair did if it had chosen to keep the RSNs; had it still owned them and floated a DTC offering for the RSNs at the same time WarnerMedia, Disney, Paramount and NBCUniversal/Comcast decided to venture into their own streaming services, such a move at an earlier point in time probably would have helped what became the Bally Sports networks and other RSNs weather the impact of cord-cutting somewhat better. Fox would have also had better leverage to secure DTC deals with MLB teams, compared to Diamond, which doesn’t even have groupwide streaming rights for all the teams that Bally Sports holds rights to.

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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