WASHINGTON, D.C. – In case you missed it, yesterday The Denver Post published a story highlighting the increasing agitation in Tribune Media Company’s Denver newsrooms following the announcement of a planned merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair has a reputation for injecting partisan editorial content into its local news programming, even requiring all of its local stations to air certain “must-run” content that usually amounts to heavily partisan political commentary produced at Sinclair’s national headquarters. The Post noted that the news director at one Denver Tribune station, KDVR, is already packing her bags and heading to the station across the street – and if things go south with Sinclair, other employees might follow her out the door. From The Denver Post’s Joanne Ostrow:
There’s an undercurrent of anxiety at Denver’s two Tribune-owned TV stations, KDVR and KWGN.
Newsroom staffers are waiting to see whether Sinclair Broadcast Group will be allowed to purchase Tribune Media Company and its 42 local TV stations to become the country’s single largest station group owner.
What that would mean for the local stations — and for the media landscape nationally — is a looming question. Sinclair has a reputation for weaving conservative commentary into local newscasts. And the group may have even grander ambitions.
As if to illustrate the concern about the potential new owner, KDVR news director Holly Gauntt announced her departure Wednesday after two years at the station. She’s jumping across the street, literally, to KMGH-Channel 7 in the same role, replacing Lindsay Radford who departed on June 3.