STATEMENT: NHMC Celebrates A Win For Media Diversity as Sinclair's Power Grab Comes to a Screeching Halt

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 10, 2018

CONTACT: Alison Sotomayor communications@nhmc.org

STATEMENT: NHMC Celebrates A Win For Media Diversity as Sinclair’s Power Grab Comes to a Screeching Halt

On August 9, 2018, Tribune Media announced that it terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting and has already filed a lawsuit against Sinclair for breach of contract. In its press release, Tribune stated, “in an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) over regulatory requirements, refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval, and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay-all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations….Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the Merger Agreement and, but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” Last month, the FCC voted on a Hearing Designation Order (“HDO”) that referred the Sinclair-Tribune proposal to an Administrative Law Judge. The HDO pointed to Sinclair’s “lack of candor” regarding certain divestitures, a fatal blow to the merger. The National Hispanic Media Coalition released the following statement from Francella Ochillo director, government and legal affairs: “The collapse of the Sinclair-Tribune merger is a win for advocates and concerned citizens across the country who have continued to sound the alarm about its threats to localism, diversity, and our democracy at large. Sinclair planned to expand its reach to over 70 percent of the national audience, using must-run segments and a centralized decision-making business model to control who and what millions of Americans see on their local news. Latinos and other marginalized communities who disproportionately rely on local broadcasts for information would ultimately pay the price. Today, this chapter comes to an end. Sinclair’s bungled attempt to circumvent FCC regulations with straw man deals and tainted divestiture plans is finally exposed.” On June 20, 2018, NHMC along with its allies at Common Cause and the United Church of Christ, OC Inc. filed a Petition to Deny the Sinclair-Tribune merger at the FCC. It outlines specific hams to consumers and diversity which Sinclair failed to address. For further information on how the Sinclair-Tribune merger would have impacted people of color who disproportionately rely on broadcast media, click here. For interviews, please contact Alison Sotomayor at communications@nhmc.org.

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The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is the media watchdog for the Latino community, ensuring that we are fairly and consistently represented in news and entertainment and that our voices are heard over the airwaves and on the internet.

We exist to challenge executives and influencers throughout the entertainment and news industry to eliminate barriers for Latinos to express themselves and be heard through every type of medium. NHMC works to bring decision-makers to the table to open new opportunities for Latinos to create, contribute and consume programming that is inclusive, free from bias and hate rhetoric, affordable and culturally relevant.

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