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mre29

The Tribune Saga, Part 3: New Sale Talks

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Not the FCC, it's the Administrative Law Judge that doesn't seem to be in the hurry as far as dismissing it. I would not be shocked at all if this was dragged well into 2019. AND IF there is NO resolution to this by next year, Sinclair will probably put some of their stations that are up for renewal at the end of next year and into 2020 up for sale to avoid the stations' license being challenged at renewal time

 

Which stations would that be?

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Not the FCC, it's the Administrative Law Judge that doesn't seem to be in the hurry as far as dismissing it. I would not be shocked at all if this was dragged well into 2019. AND IF there is NO resolution to this by next year, Sinclair will probably put some of their stations that are up for renewal at the end of next year and into 2020 up for sale to avoid the stations' license being challenged at renewal time

 

Until we hear anything from the ALJ, Sinclair is on indefinite hold. They can't sell any stations. They can't buy any stations.

 

Eventually the judge will have the final say, whenever that happens. But right, I'm kind of happy that the judge hasn't said a word.

Edited by CircleSeven
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So, Tribune can't sell any of its stations because they're still all tied up in the applications?

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So, Tribune can't sell any of its stations because they're still all tied up in the applications?

 

I was talking about Sinclair (not Tribune) I should've specified earlier.

 

Right now, Tribune can buy or sell stations it wants.

Edited by CircleSeven
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So, Tribune can't sell any of its stations because they're still all tied up in the applications?

I meant Sinclair. Should've specified earlier.

True, but you cannot deny that the litigation Tribune and Sinclair threw at each other, compounded by political uncertainty over the midterms next month (where a possibility of a divided legislative branch - Dem House and a barely GOP Senate - is more than a safe bet) and the lack of any serious coalition of broadcasters to encourage further ownership dereg ... are all playing into Tribune's somewhat obvious reluctance here.

 

Stuff like this doesn't happen in a vacuum.

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Until we hear anything from the ALJ, Sinclair is on indefinite hold. They can't sell any stations. They can't buy any stations.

 

Eventually the judge will have the final say, whenever that happens. But right, I'm kind of happy that the judge hasn't said a word.

So if they DID try to sell stations (or tried to buy any stations) what would be the consequences for that?

 

And by the way, Chris Ripley has already came out and said that Sinclair will try to go after Cox should they eventually put all of their 14 stations up for sale, so Ripley and the Smith's just don't care about the fact that their company is on hold right now

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So if they DID try to sell stations (or tried to buy any stations) what would be the consequences for that?

 

"Taser, Taser, Taser" should be the consequence for that.

 

We are a nation of laws.

 

Hitting them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper would be considered inhumane.

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Hitting them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper would be considered inhumane.

 

And a terrible abuse of newspapers.

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Hitting them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper would be considered inhumane.

And a terrible abuse of newspapers.

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True, but you cannot deny that the litigation Tribune and Sinclair threw at each other, compounded by political uncertainty over the midterms next month (where a possibility of a divided legislative branch - Dem House and a barely GOP Senate - is more than a safe bet) and the lack of any serious coalition of broadcasters to encourage further ownership dereg ... are all playing into Tribune's somewhat obvious reluctance here.

 

Stuff like this doesn't happen in a vacuum.

 

I really don't understand why they haven't been pushing harder to have the cap raised or eliminated. Not that I'm on board with that, but you'd think that the last seven years would have brought that about. I'm guessing since Obama was in charge for most of the time since McGraw-Hill decided to get out (the apparent beginning of all this), they figured it was a dead end?

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I really don't understand why they haven't been pushing harder to have the cap raised or eliminated. Not that I'm on board with that, but you'd think that the last seven years would have brought that about. I'm guessing since Obama was in charge for most of the time since McGraw-Hill decided to get out (the apparent beginning of all this), they figured it was a dead end?

 

iHeartMedia has unequivocally opposed further dereg on the radio front... on the grounds it would allow other groups like Entercom or Cumulus to come in and erode their ratings/revenue positions in the largest markets. It got to the point that CEO Bob Pittman threatened that iHeart would go on an M&A spree of their own to keep up (and after they emerge from chapter 11 in a few weeks, it’s not that empty a threat).

 

Sinclair’s bad behavior and shady business practices with Tribune undoubtedly has totally sucked all the energy out of further dereg in terrestrial television.

 

And don’t forget that, even with GOP majorities in both chambers of the legislative branch that would otherwise be very conducive to dereg, they have a hard time coming to agree on anything. They couldn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act and almost fumbled a SCOTUS nomination that was nearbly unfumbleable, you think this bunch will be able to raise any ownership caps?

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Anyway, continuing from Myron's observation, would Sinclair really want to compete on a level playing field -- one where CBS and Fox can actually buy more stations directly, without needing the Sinclair secret sauce of numerous side-cars and a disinterested FCC.

But of course, with Icarus flying right up into the sun, they lost that last advantage.

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Anyway, continuing from Myron's observation, would Sinclair really want to compete on a level playing field -- one where CBS and Fox can actually buy more stations directly, without needing the Sinclair secret sauce of numerous side-cars and a disinterested FCC.

But of course, with Icarus flying right up into the sun, they lost that last advantage.

After what Sinclair did to the FCC, I really can't blame the FCC for not going forward with its plans to raise the cap. Had Sinclair, actually been honest with the FCC, the cap would've been raised long time ago

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Fox has done its time with the secret sauce - SF Broadcasting and Blackstar say hi.

 

Same with Tribune and Qwest.

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Fox has done its time with the secret sauce - SF Broadcasting and Blackstar say hi.

 

Same with Tribune and Qwest.

Yup, even Fox and New World loosely fit into a similar category, considering the eventual outcome of the latter. Hell, Fox bought WBRC and WGHP in de facto sidecar transactions (aided in part by a divestiture trust set up by New World) so New World could complete their simultaneous purchases of Citicasters and Argyle.

 

Only thing that separates Sinclair from all other instances is that... they lied to the FCC about two transactions they never needed to make. WGN-TV never had to be sold to an automobile dealership co-owned by David Smith and WPIX didn't have to go to Cunningham. I still don't understand that line of logic, especially when WGN-TV fell under the UHF Discount.

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Only thing that separates Sinclair from all other instances is that... they lied to the FCC about two transactions they never needed to make. WGN-TV never had to be sold to an automobile dealership co-owned by David Smith and WPIX didn't have to go to Cunningham. I still don't understand that line of logic, especially when WGN-TV fell under the UHF Discount.

 

I have a suspicion—which stems from some claims made in the Tribune suit filing—that some of their reverse compensation deals may be dependent on the affiliation the stations have, with the majors having a higher rate than the minors and the independent stations. If so, and if they can’t exclude WGN from being grouped into their “Charge!” stations, then they lose huge amounts of potential revenue.

Edited by SterlingNorth

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Yup, even Fox and New World loosely fit into a similar category, considering the eventual outcome of the latter. Hell, Fox bought WBRC and WGHP in de facto sidecar transactions (aided in part by a divestiture trust set up by New World) so New World could complete their simultaneous purchases of Citicasters and Argyle.

 

Only thing that separates Sinclair from all other instances is that... they lied to the FCC about two transactions they never needed to make. WGN-TV never had to be sold to an automobile dealership co-owned by David Smith and WPIX didn't have to go to Cunningham. I still don't understand that line of logic, especially when WGN-TV fell under the UHF Discount.

 

Sinclair-Tribune blew past the cap even with the UHF discount applied though. They denied for many months that anything needed to be done as well.

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Another Sinclair shell, yay.

 

No, more like "LIN 2: Electric Boogaloo". Hicks Sr's capital firm was a primary shareholder in LIN back in the 90s.

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This is WORSE than Sinclair. Just when we thought we could breathe a sigh of relief, we have to hold our breaths again. Disgusting.

Agreed. I still hope for more than two network-owned Seattle stations.

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Fun side note to that NYP story: Nexstar may want Cox.

 

Anyway--I would tend to agree with NewsMaster here. Were it the senior Hicks, who's had a hand in media before, I wouldn't be so worried. I understand he's lending his hand, but this isn't the 90s anymore and the motives are clearly more ulterior.

 

I still don't understand what's preventing Trib from being buyers in this market. Are they that saddled with debt, or do the investors want theirs before the TV bubble bursts (which I doubt it will for all but the smallest markets, BTW.)

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Investors want their cash, and they wanted it yesterday.

 

Many corporate owners and bosses are "Team MAGA," but more importantly they are "Team $$." Given the public backlash against Sinclair, many would be wise to let the TV stations do their jobs and generate revenue. I find it hard to do if advertisers bail and lawsuits accumulate. If Hicks (with a lot of help) wants to buy, he inherits an existing infrastructure, and he can be as hands-off as he likes. If Hicks wants to micro-manage or burn it all down or launch a national platform to compete with FOX News Channel, it's his money to lose.

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