TRCO/SBGI: FCC Approval Expected, Opposing Parties Say

Event Driven Takeaways

  • Opposing third parties say the FCC has shown limited interest in arguments against the Tribune/Sinclair deal.
  • All three Republican FCC commissioners are expected to support the transaction, two industry sources told Event Driven. One of the Democratic members, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, has publicly raised concerns about the deal. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the other Democrat on the commission, might join her in opposing Tribune/Sinclair.
  • Tribune and Sinclair disclosed today, Feb. 6, that they had reached a new timing agreement with the DOJ that expires Feb. 11. The parties agree to provide the DOJ with 10 days advance notice prior to consummating their merger.

Recent communications with the FCC indicate the agency is prepared to approve Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune, according to two industry sources involved in opposing the deal. Both sources have met or corresponded with the FCC within the past two weeks. The majority of FCC commissioners will support the deal, according to the first industry source. “I think you can expect to see a splintered decision, with one or two dissents,” the source said. The same source expressed some frustration regarding the amount of consideration that