By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 5-16-17
Some leading Democratic members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee have called on the Republican leadership of the committee and Communications Subcommittee to look into the proposed $3.9-billion purchase of Tribune by Sinclair Broadcasting.
That is unlikely to happen. A spokesperson for the majority had no comment, but a source said that the committee has a long history of not holding hearings on mergers, which is usually more the province of the Senate Commerce Committee.
“The Sinclair-Tribune transaction comes as a direct result of the decision in April by the FCC to reinstate the so-called “UHF discount,” they wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by B&C. “The Republican FCC majority reinstated the UHF discount despite a previous finding that it was obsolete in the digital era. Its revival only serves as a loophole in the media ownership rules that opens the door to a wave of broadcast consolidation, as evidenced by this transaction.” » Read More