WASHINGTON, D.C. – In case you missed it, the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger has gained a notable new opponent: conservative news media.
Yesterday, The New York Times reported that right-wing outlets including Newsmax, One America News Network, and The Blaze filed petitions urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deny the pending merger on the grounds that a free and diverse press “will be crippled by this proposed merger.”
Conservative media executives are not mincing words when it comes to their criticisms of the potential Sinclair media monopoly that would result from a merger of this size and scope. From The New York Times story:
“It just gives them a huge pathway right into the home,” said Michael G. Fletcher, the chief executive of Ride Television Network, an equestrian-focused cable network whose audience is largely conservative. “To think that they will have the ability to put whatever programming and content and messaging into all of those homes is, to me, a scary thought.”
Fletcher’s content and market concerns were shared by fellow news executives who also serve a predominately conservative audience:
“The real concern here is: When you have an entity with excessive, unbalanced power in the marketplace, which Sinclair arguably has now, the market doesn’t work,” Charles Herring, whose family company Herring Networks owns One America News Network, said on a call with reporters on Monday.
This latest development of conservative backlash against the merger follows reports that Fox News’ parent company may not renew network affiliations with dozens of Sinclair stations.
With bad news like this, it’s no wonder that Sinclair’s stock has taken a beating in recent weeks.