TRCO/SBGI: ALJ Process Could Take a Year, Attorneys Say

Event Driven Takeaways

  • The companies may extend their transaction until the ALJ releases its scheduling order, which is expected approximately Aug. 23. However, multiple attorneys expressed to Event Driven that the ALJ process could take a year.
  • Sinclair and Tribune have a deadline of Aug. 8 or Aug. 9 to file notices of appearance to the FCC administrative law judge, according to a source close to the agency. The merger agreement is set to expire Aug. 8.
  • There is no way for Sinclair to remove the transaction from the ALJ proceeding without ending the Tribune acquisition, the source said.

While outside commentators have speculated that Sinclair and Tribune may extend their transaction until the administrative law judge, or ALJ, issues a scheduling order, which is expected approximately Aug. 23, several attorneys cautioned that the ALJ process itself could take a year or more to conclude. “I don’t think there’s going to be a hearing,” said Peter Tannenwald, a telecommunications attorney at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth. “Hearings are not practical in a situation like this. Some hearings take years.” Another t