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Sinclair’s Buy of Allbritton’s Stations Gets Second Look from DOJ

sinclair_allbrittonBoth Sinclair Broadcasting and Allbritton Communications have been asked for more information in Sinclair’s proposed buy of Allbritton’s Harrisburg, PA, and Charleston, SC, stations.

In a release, Sinclair said the two station groups intend to “respond promptly” to the move otherwise known as a “Second Request.” Sinclair added, “Although there can be no assurances, the parties expect the transaction to close in the first or second quarter of 2014.”

Sinclair already owns CBS affiliate WHP in Harrisburg and FOX affiliate WTAT in Charleston, SC. The deal would add ABC affiliates WHTM in Harrisburg and WCIV in Charleston.

Sinclair has publicly stated it would sell the licenses of its existing stations and would “provide sales and other non-programming support services to each of these stations pursuant to customary shared services and joint sales agreements.”

Free Press has filed a petition with the FCC to stop the merger saying the transfer of ownership would, “allow Sinclair to retain control over those stations and circumvent the rules.”

“Media consolidation threatens journalistic independence and diminishes the diverse, quality news coverage local communities deserve,” said Free Press counsel Lauren Wilson in a statement. “The interests of those communities should not come second to those of industry shareholders.”

You can read the Free Press petition by clicking here.

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