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Sinclair Broadcast Group - General Discussion


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2 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Tulsa seems like a scary place for this to be going down especially since Sinclair and Scripps compete there.  Has Scripps done any "Scripps-a-fying" of KJRH?

 

At least they still have a dominant Griffin station that keeps things LOCAL.

 

Another tell-tale sign of the Tulsa market was that KOKI was one of the two "legacy" Cox stations cast off to Imagicomm (along with WHBQ in Memphis).  This was one of the Clear Channel stations purchased by Newport, who instead of dumping them to Sinclair or Nexstar, sold them to Cox at the time.  Cox is still the primary cable company there, right?

 

You have to wonder what happens to the Tulsa market if/when Griffin cashes out and sells KOTV (and KWTV).

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With all of the must-run garbage Sinclair puts out, it lessens their local output to the point where they actually question doing "local" news.

 

But this issue extends to virtually all of the other groups...Gray does their fair share as well with "InvestigateTV" and sharing stories between markets. Same with Nexstar.  Scripps is taking the HLN Jukebox to the next level, and other groups are just as guilty with all of their shared franchises.

 

Sinclair and their "National Desk" have come in and out of the public eye just as people have forgotten about the way they've tried to sway politics over the years, from Mark Hyman and his commentaries, to the town halls, endlessly investigating Hunter's laptop and all of the "bad things" Biden has done, Boris Ephstyn, Sharyl "Tinfoil Hat" Attkinson, all while giving credence to a serial liar under numerous indictments and potentially the second president since Grover Cleveland to be elected to a second, non-consecutive term.

 

Ok...rant done.  But Sinclair will have their work cut out for them in 2024 if they want a front row seat to this $#!+show.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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45 minutes ago, TVLurker said:

From FTVLive

Looks like things just got interesting if the FCC acts on this letter.

*popcorn gif*

 

 

It would likely face the same fate as the petitions to revoke Fox Television Stations’ license for WTXF, it’s not gonna happen. In both instances, it would take either company being proven of engaging in something closer to RKO General levels of business misconduct to warrant the revocation of their broadcast licenses.

 

The issues with Sinclair’s newsroom operations aren’t really fraud (as the filing states) as it is corporate incompetence. As noted in the filing, Sinclair’s newsroom cutbacks are mainly the result of its “ill-advised” purchase of Bally Sports, however Sinclair was already dealing with substantial debt predating that purchase, which its post-2011 purchases only contributed to. (Sinclair nearly went bankrupt itself only a few years before its buying spree began.)

 

Side note: The ex-news director who filed the complaint, when citing stations affected by the news cuts (a list that included stations that dropped newscasts but still have an in-house or partially outsourced news operation), left out WPMI from the list; its morning and noon newscasts were canned in favor of the morning edition of The National Desk and a run of Family Feud this Spring.

 

Then there’s one nugget I noticed towards the end:

Quote

The arrest of Sinclair's Board Chairman, David Smith, for soliciting a prostitute raises questions about the moral fitness of the company's leadership. His behavior is inconsistent with the standards expected of those holding positions of influence in the media industry or a publicly-granted broadcast license.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Smith was once arrested in August 1996, for “committing a perverted sex act in a company-owned Mercedes.” First time I’ve heard about this.

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

It would likely face the same fate as the petitions to revoke Fox Television Stations’ license for WTXF, it’s not gonna happen.

Until these groups finally realize that they need to get a local resident to file a detailed and proper complaint, they're going nowhere. There must be a local person behind it that's just an average viewer (not the ones long checked off to the spam box who think a woman meteorologist wearing pants is somehow a violation of community norms), not a whistleblower engineer who knows too much. This is why radio license appeals usually go nowhere, because the average listener finds the obvious voicetracking and 14 minute ad breaks to be tolerable as background noise, and even the worst produced syndicated radio show with obnoxious bias still 'sounds' better and is tightly edited to the millisecond better than any local afternoon show was circa 1992.

 

The other thing is that local news still makes up a minority of the broadcast day. The old days where a license could be pulled because of things viewers easily noticed, like network programming being pulled for offending the GM's morals or their racial views are gone; they air the shows without any changes because they lose their affiliation if they don't and can't refuse shows outside breaking news. The network also controls the technical quality, so you're not seeing licenses revoked for poor on-air quality or using a Peacock stream for the on-air feed. The burden is extremely high to revoke a license and must involve all 168 hours a week of programming, not just news.

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2 hours ago, mrschimpf said:

Until these groups finally realize that they need to get a local resident to file a detailed and proper complaint, they're going nowhere. There must be a local person behind it that's just an average viewer (not the ones long checked off to the spam box who think a woman meteorologist wearing pants is somehow a violation of community norms), not a whistleblower engineer who knows too much. This is why radio license appeals usually go nowhere, because the average listener finds the obvious voicetracking and 14 minute ad breaks to be tolerable as background noise, and even the worst produced syndicated radio show with obnoxious bias still 'sounds' better and is tightly edited to the millisecond better than any local afternoon show was circa 1992.

 

The other thing is that local news still makes up a minority of the broadcast day. The old days where a license could be pulled because of things viewers easily noticed, like network programming being pulled for offending the GM's morals or their racial views are gone; they air the shows without any changes because they lose their affiliation if they don't and can't refuse shows outside breaking news. The network also controls the technical quality, so you're not seeing licenses revoked for poor on-air quality or using a Peacock stream for the on-air feed. The burden is extremely high to revoke a license and must involve all 168 hours a week of programming, not just news.

The filing cites other issues including past FCC violations (fines for violations of children's programming and non-disclosure of paid programming), evasions of local and national ownership caps (including through sidecar companies), the lack of diversity among Sinclair's Board of Directors, executives, and local station GMs, efforts to undermine union organizing among local employees, editorial bias, anti-competitive employment practices (restrictive non-compete clauses, nondisclosure agreements, and liquidated damage litigation against “employees who have pursued other career opportunities and as a way to limit criticism of its business practices”), contradictions of being unable to continue local news investment despite high executive compensation and profits that could be used to invest in the stations, the Bally Sports bankruptcy, the recent announcement of Univision’s removal from KUNS in favor of The CW, retrans disputes, and “moral terpitude” issues (the aforementioned prostitution arrest of Smith).

 

None of this rises to the level of license revocation, either.

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The most egregious, in the eyes of the FCC was trying to pass off WGN to a closely-aligned sidecar company (related to one of their major advertisers) in the failed Tribune merger.

 

Way back when RKO General lost all their licenses, they may as well have been a mom and pop company (by the number of stations they were allowed to own at the time) compared to the sheer number of stations Sinclair has been able to own and control under current regulations.  And all it took for RKO to have their licenses revoked was some simple corporate misconduct.  Reciprocal trade.  

 

I can guarantee you not only has that happened at Sinclair, but in such multitude and frequency, to make RKO General's punishment seem like a slap on the wrist compared to what Sinclair should be facing.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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22 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

I can guarantee you not only has that happened at Sinclair, but in such multitude and frequency, to make RKO General's punishment seem like a slap on the wrist compared to what Sinclair should be facing.

Exactly this...FCC and other federal agencies aren't going to take action on any company based on corporate shell games and shifting affiliations around, along with their E/I issues that in the grand scheme didn't affect anyone that much. If Sinclair is going to get caught, it's going to be for something we won't even notice until it's revealed like one of their station holding companies getting sloppy with accounting, an advertising contract gone wrong, or tax-related issues.

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6 hours ago, T.L. Hughes said:

contradictions of being unable to continue local news investment despite high executive compensation...

 

This came up in the Discord the other day and isn't even true. Sinclair executives have a base salary close to or equal to that of most of their peers, and even with stock grants are lower than others.

 

Compensation in 2022 (Source: salary.com)

Chris Ripley (President and CEO, Sinclair Broadcast Group): $9,632,015 total compensation, $1,379,700 base pay. (David Smith has an identical pay)

Perry Sook (Chairman and CEO, Nexstar Broadcasting): $39,318,892 total compensation, $1,995,193 base pay.

Hilton H. Howell Jr. (Executive Chairman and CEO, Gray Television): $7,922,375 total compensation, $1,350,000 base pay.

Adam P. Symson (President and CEO, E.W. Scripps): $15,043,797 total compensation, $1,200,000 base pay.

David T. Lougee (President and CEO, Tegna Inc.):  $7,271,601 total compensation, $975,000 base pay.

 

Any of these 5 could take a symbolic salary of $1 and live solely off their stock grants (which makes up the majority of the difference between base pay and total compensation) and all it would net the company is a little wiggle room for a handful of station's CapEx budget.

 

The FCC is not going to revoke anyone's licenses because they canceled local news and replaced it with a regional newscast. That's insane. It would be a political nuclear bomb that would likely end up gutting the FCC of those and other powers. How long have New Jersey politicians been complaining about WWOR's news coming from New York City? Literally nothing has happened there and it's been going on for almost 15 years.

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I don't see FCC revoking Sinclair's licenses like Fox O&O in Philly either it will go nowhere. Along with someone emailing FTVLive that the public needs to write their local congress person along with the US Senators and like Weeters said politicians have wanted the FCC to do something with WWOR not having local news the FCC has done nothing been going on for years.   

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20 hours ago, Weeters said:

 

This came up in the Discord the other day and isn't even true. Sinclair executives have a base salary close to or equal to that of most of their peers, and even with stock grants are lower than others.

 

Compensation in 2022 (Source: salary.com)

Chris Ripley (President and CEO, Sinclair Broadcast Group): $9,632,015 total compensation, $1,379,700 base pay. (David Smith has an identical pay)

Perry Sook (Chairman and CEO, Nexstar Broadcasting): $39,318,892 total compensation, $1,995,193 base pay.

Hilton H. Howell Jr. (Executive Chairman and CEO, Gray Television): $7,922,375 total compensation, $1,350,000 base pay.

Adam P. Symson (President and CEO, E.W. Scripps): $15,043,797 total compensation, $1,200,000 base pay.

David T. Lougee (President and CEO, Tegna Inc.):  $7,271,601 total compensation, $975,000 base pay.

 

Any of these 5 could take a symbolic salary of $1 and live solely off their stock grants (which makes up the majority of the difference between base pay and total compensation) and all it would net the company is a little wiggle room for a handful of station's CapEx budget.

 

The FCC is not going to revoke anyone's licenses because they canceled local news and replaced it with a regional newscast. That's insane. It would be a political nuclear bomb that would likely end up gutting the FCC of those and other powers. How long have New Jersey politicians been complaining about WWOR's news coming from New York City? Literally nothing has happened there and it's been going on for almost 15 years.

 

Private companies (such as Hearst and Graham) we don't get that data from, correct?

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On 11/16/2023 at 2:48 PM, T.L. Hughes said:

According to the Baltimore Sun, Smith was once arrested in August 1996, for “committing a perverted sex act in a company-owned Mercedes.” First time I’ve heard about this.

 

That happened in 1996? Assuming Smith was never arrested again, I would think it'd be a non-issue 27 years later.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
3 hours ago, TheNewsTV said:

As expected, KOKH's Good Day Oklahoma being broadcast on KTUL.

 

12-11_08-55-01_ABC_ABC.ts_snapshot_00_43_434.thumb.jpg.39f1abc2b6784571730c108fbf2a3a01.jpg12-11_08-55-01_ABC_ABC.ts_snapshot_05_28_434.thumb.jpg.965ce60161edbfb03f4d51f572fce5a6.jpg

The only newscasts KTUL will have by themselves will be 6pm and 10pm Monday through Friday. All other newscasts will be KOKH. 5pm will be Hyper-local with Brenna anchoring a bit of news at the start of the broadcast then to OKC for news then weather from Tulsa. That’s coming from the chief photographer at KTUL I was talking with him last week at my radio remote and he was there getting video.

Edited by ScottSchell
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5 hours ago, ScottSchell said:

The only newscasts KTUL will have by themselves will be 6pm and 10pm Monday through Friday. All other newscasts will be KOKH. 5pm will be Hyper-local with Brenna anchoring a bit of news at the start of the broadcast then to OKC for news then weather from Tulsa. That’s coming from the chief photographer at KTUL I was talking with him last week at my radio remote and he was there getting video.

 

I thought it would be a combined news operation, good to know that they will still have some local news.

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5 hours ago, ScottSchell said:

The only newscasts KTUL will have by themselves will be 6pm and 10pm Monday through Friday. All other newscasts will be KOKH. 5pm will be Hyper-local with Brenna anchoring a bit of news at the start of the broadcast then to OKC for news then weather from Tulsa. That’s coming from the chief photographer at KTUL I was talking with him last week at my radio remote and he was there getting video.

So, what about weekend newscasts? KOKH only produces a 9:00 newscast on weekends (although the Saturday edition is usually delayed, often running past 10:00, due to Fox Sports event telecasts). Most TV listings still have KTUL airing early evening and 10:00 p.m. newscasts on weekends.

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1 hour ago, T.L. Hughes said:

So, what about weekend newscasts? KOKH only produces a 9:00 newscast on weekends (although the Saturday edition is usually delayed, often running past 10:00, due to Fox Sports event telecasts). Most TV listings still have KTUL airing early evening and 10:00 p.m. newscasts on weekends.

I"m sure they'll be pre-taped and run whenever on KTUL.  That would seem to make the most logistical sense especially if both ABC and FOX are running sports that pre-empt the usual news times.

 

Still an absolutely pathetic move for a station in a market of Tulsa's size.  Shame on Sinclair.

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1 hour ago, T.L. Hughes said:

So, what about weekend newscasts? KOKH only produces a 9:00 newscast on weekends (although the Saturday edition is usually delayed, often running past 10:00, due to Fox Sports event telecasts). Most TV listings still have KTUL airing early evening and 10:00 p.m. newscasts on weekends.

He said that it would be OKC handling the weekends (Colton and Michelle will handle weather and sports for OKC and Tulsa while John Hayes moves to weekdays as a reporter only). Weekdays Chris, Brenna and TJ will handle the 6 and 10pm and TJ will also handle sports for OKC. Joie stayed on the morning show to handle weather and reporter McKenzie Richmond also stayed on the morning show.

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  • 3 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Georgie56 said:

News is being restored to KDNL. They are running The National Desk at 6am, 5pm and 10pm starting January 1st.

The ratings however, will remain elusive as always. ABC still deserves better.

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10 hours ago, Georgie56 said:

News is being restored to KDNL. They are running The National Desk at 6am, 5pm and 10pm starting January 1st.

 

Considering the St. Louis market is so locally focused, I can't see how this succeeds ratings wise other than it fills some time for low cost.  When I lived in St. Louis, KDNL was an absolute joke with no local news presence, no HD til much later than the other channels, no local presence....

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Sinclair has announced agreements with CBS News and Stations to offer its four diginets on several of the Paramount-owned unit's CBS O&O and independent stations:

 

Comet:

New York — WCBS 2.5

San Francisco — KPIX 5.5

 

Charge!:

Los Angeles — KCAL 9.3

Chicago — WBBM 2.5

Philadelphia — KYW 3.5

 

TBD:

Miami — WBFS 33.6

Philadelphia — WPSG 57.2

San Francisco — KPYX 44.2

 

The Nest:

Los Angeles — KCAL 9.2

San Francisco — KPYX 44.4

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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  • 2 weeks later...

Not really broadcasting related, but certainly big news in Baltimore, even with the Sun's decline and influence. The sale and operation is independent of SBG, but the lack of regulatory muscle makes that a comically short hurdle to overcome.

 

 

Edited by mrschimpf
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