Media Bureau Approves Sinclair/Allbritton Transaction.
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
July 24, 2014
Janice Wise (202) 418-8165
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM T. LAKE, CHIEF, MEDIA BUREAU, ON ORDER
CONDITIONALLY GRANTING THE SINCLAIR ALLBRITTON TRANSACTION
Washington, D.C.: The Media Bureau today adopted an Order approving the $985 million
Sinclair/Allbritton transaction after the parties agreed to amend the proposal in three markets to comply
with our ownership rules:
Consistent with DOJ review, Sinclair will divest the station in the Harrisburg market.
To comply with our local TV ownership rule, Sinclair will deliver the programming of stations in
the Birmingham and Charleston markets via digital multicasting. This means that Sinclair will
put the full programming of the stations on the digital signal of the stations it already owns. The
licenses of the Allbritton stations that previously broadcast that programming will therefore be
returned to the Commission. Most importantly, consumers will lose no programming currently
available to them.
The originally proposed sidecar arrangements with Howard Stirk Holdings and Deerfield will not
be included in the transaction.
To comply with our local TV ownership rule, Sinclair will terminate an improper sharing
arrangement in the Charleston, South Carolina market.
The Order released today approving the transaction between Sinclair and Allbritton exemplifies the
careful scrutiny the Bureau will provide to broadcast transactions that propose new combinations of
sharing arrangements and financial entanglements between a dominant licensee and a so-called sidecar
entity. The Media Bureau has demonstrated clearly that it will not allow such combined arrangements to
undermine the local TV ownership rule, which is in place to ensure competition and diverse voices on the
When the Commission adopted the Joint Sales Agreement Order in March, the Chairman announced a
two-fold goal: to close off what had become a growing end-run around our local TV ownership rule,
while ensuring prompt and careful review of proposed transactions that advance our public interest
mandate. The Order released today is consistent with those goals and with our broader mandates to
ensure continued access to programming and encourage competition in the marketplace. Consumers
deserve access to as many truly independent broadcast voices as possible, and our actions in this area
follow through on our commitment to that objective.
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