Christian Dem in NC's blog

Let's Google-bomb Sinclair into submission

(cross-posted at DKos)

I was thinking of ways to heighten public awareness of Sinclair Broadcast Group's use of a shell corporation, Cunningham Broadcasting, to evade FCC ownership rules and operate six duopolies where it legally can't have them. Then it hit me--a Google bomb!

To summarize, Cunningham's six television stations all have local marketing agreements with Sinclair Broadcast Group stations in their markets. Sinclair Broadcast Group handles all the Cunningham stations' operations. It also buys the entire broadcast day on Cunningham's stations. However, nearly all of Cunningham's stock is controlled by the Smith family, founders of Sinclair Broadcast Group. It legally can't operate duopolies in Cunningham's markets for various reasons that I mention here and here.

If the Bahakels sell, it must not be to Sinclair

(cross-posted at DKos)

As I mentioned on Sunday, Charlotte's Fox station, WCCB, may be up for sale. Its longtime owner, Cy Bahakel, wasn't interested (at least in public) in selling to anyone, but his kids have given it some serious thought. Although nothing has formally happened yet, should WCCB go on the block, a very likely suitor will be our good friends at Sinclair Broadcast Group. As we all know, Sinclair would be the absolute worst pick as an owner--not in the least because it's been flouting FCC ownership rules for more than a decade by way of a shell corporation, Cunningham Broadcasting. Although Cunningham holds itself out as separate, nearly all of its stock is controlled by the Smith family, owners of Sinclair.

Time to stop Sinclair in its tracks

(cross-posted at DKos)

Just before this past Christmas, I wrote that Sinclair Broadcast Group has illegal duopolies in six markets. It has LMAs with all six stations owned by Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation. However, Cunningham is effectively owned by Sinclair since nearly all of its stock is controlled by the Smith family, founders and owners of Sinclair.

This recently piqued my interest again because Charlotte's Fox affiliate, WCCB, may be up for sale. Its longtime owner, Cy Bahakel, died in April, and his kids have made noises about putting WCCB and their family's other on the market. If that happened, it would really surprise me if Sinclair didn't make a bid. It already owns stations in the Triangle and Triad. But based on Sinclair's illegal activity, we have to head this one off at the pass.

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