Allied Progress Emailed a Memo to More Than 1,300 Sinclair Employees. Those Emails Reportedly Disappeared from Employee Inboxes Moments Later.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Variety reported today, Allied Progress is sending a letter and memo by U.S. Postal Service to nearly 1,300 Sinclair Broadcast Group local news station employees. The mailings respond to Sinclair Vice President of News Scott Livingston’s bizarre memo to employees that attempted to discredit negative news coverage the company has received for its record of mismanagement and its partisan political agenda.
Allied Progress previously emailed its memo to Sinclair employees on July 19, but following reports that Sinclair leadership may have deleted the emails from employee inboxes, the consumer watchdog decided to send physical copies to all Sinclair local news staff.
“We sent an email to more than 1,300 Sinclair reporters, producers, and other employees at more than 160 local stations to correct the record and outline the company’s well-documented history of station mismanagement and pushing a partisan political agenda. If reports are to be believed, it appears someone at Sinclair deleted our message from employee inboxes just minutes after it was sent. I realize the truth can be uncomfortable for some, but censoring the emails of employees is inappropriate for any organization – especially for a media outlet,” said Frisch.
He continued, “Sinclair has a long track record of deliberately misleading viewers. Now, it appears the company is willing to mislead its own employees as well. This is yet another reason why regulators should reject Sinclair’s monopolistic efforts to expand its reach to dozens of additional local newsrooms across the country. Simply put, Sinclair can’t be trusted to live up to basic journalistic principles of accurate and open communication. This merger is not in the public interest – it is about one thing and only one thing: expanding Sinclair’s political influence.”
In addition to sending physical copies of the memo with a cover letter to Sinclair employees, Allied Progress emailed nearly one thousand Tribune Media employees to bring attention to the memo Sinclair apparently doesn’t want its employees to see.
Background on the Sinclair-Tribune Merger:
On June 26, Sinclair Broadcast Group filed paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially announcing its intent to purchase Tribune Media, marking a key step in a massive planned takeover of Tribune’s 42 local news stations. If the merger succeeds, Sinclair would own a staggering 233 television stations across the country with monopolistic control over local news reaching 72 percent of American households.
Sinclair, known for its conservative slant, has garnered headlines for forcing local stations to air politically motivated editorials ahead of elections, cutting a deal with Jared Kushner to give the Trump campaign special treatment in its coverage, and most recently has been seen as a potential home for embattled conservative media stars like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. In July, Politico reported that Sinclair was “increasing the ‘must-run’ segments across its affiliates featuring former Trump White House official Boris Epshteyn to nine times a week.”
Yesterday, Allied Progress filed its public comment with the FCC in opposition to the merger stressing that it was not in the public interest.
To speak with Karl Frisch about the Sinclair-Tribune merger, please contact Mike Czin at 202-286-7654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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