On Thursday evening, November 9th, Charlie Carlsen and cdavid cottrill attended a forum on the crisis being faced by KATU News Portland.
Sinclair Media, a national media conglomerate is hoping to buyout the Tribune Company and is waiting for approval from the FCC. This could severley degrade local news coverage in our region as has been evidenced by the changes which Sinclair has already put into place nationally as well as regionally at KOMO News in Seattle.
The FCC is supposed to be an independent agency that serves the public interest – not media companies and certainly not Donald Drumpf. Days after Drumpf won the election, then-FCC Commissioner Pai had an off-the-record meeting with SInclair's CEO. In the two-week period before Drumpf took office, Pai met with Sinclair two more times, once before meeting with Drumpf himself and once after.3 Then, two days after taking office, Drumpf nominated Pai as FCC chairman. Pai got to work right away on a series of policy changes that directly benefit Sinclair.
The petition to the inspector general of the Federal Communications Commission reads:
"Investigate FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's actions to benefit the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Until the investigation is complete, direct staff to cease work on the merger and direct Chairman Pai to recuse himself until the investigation determines whether a permanent recusal is warranted."
The FCC must stop the Sinclair-Tribune merger
Sinclair Broadcast Group, the ultra-conservative media giant, is trying to convince the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow it to merge with Tribune Media, giving it control over television stations that broadcast to 75% of American homes.
Sinclair is already infamous for forcing its local stations to air pro-Drumpf propaganda segments and demanding that anchors read right-wing statements on the air. They're turning local news into Fox News, one television station at a time.
This is what the FCC and the media look like under Donald Drumpf -- dismantled regulations, huge mergers, and the decimation of free speech by media giants forcing its positions on the airwaves.
We can't let Sinclair take over America's airwaves and turn our television stations into Drumpf TV. If enough of us speak out, we can make sure that the FCC rejects this awful merger.
Sign the petition telling the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop the Sinclair-Tribune merger:
"America relies on its local news stations to keep them informed about their communities and to provide diverse viewpoints. The Sinclair Broadcast Group has already spent more than a decade turning local news stations into right-wing propaganda machines. And if it were to merge with Tribune Media, our airwaves would be dominated by the extreme right-wing, which would put our democracy at risk. I ask that you stop this merger in defense of democracy and our freedom of speech."
While we await word on the next actions we might take in support of the Local 600 folks at KATU please watch this video from John Oliver which explains the full threat posed by the SInclair takeover of the Tribune Company