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Posts Tagged ‘Sinclair Broadcast Group’

Sinclair Hires Former FCC Adviser for New Washington Office

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcasting Group has announced the hiring of Rebecca Hanson as senior vice president, Strategy and Policy.

Hanson, who comes to the station group from the Media Bureau of the FCC where she was senior adviser, Broadcast Spectrum, will be responsible for starting up a new Washington, D.C. office for Sinclair “dedicated to a broad range of policy and business matters.”

Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement, “As Sinclair continues to grow into the nation’s largest television station group, we need a presence in Washington to navigate the challenges and opportunities that we will face in the coming years. Rebecca’s experience at the FCC and in the wireless and media industries makes her uniquely qualified to lead this office.”

While with the FCC, Hanson served on the Incentive Auction Task Force as the go-to person for broadcaster participation and issues affecting non-participating broadcasters. Before joining the commission, she was vice president of Strategic Initiatives at Sprint Nextel. She has also worked at XM Satellite Radio as senior vice president of Business Development and VP and deputy general counsel. She started her career at Brownstein and Zeidman and later Shaw Pittman (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) where she specialized in technology, commercial finance and venture capital.

Sinclair Closes on Purchase of KRNV

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group announced it has closed on the acquisition of the non-license assets of Reno, NV, NBC station KRNV from Intermountain West for $26 million and has entered into an agreement to operate or provide sales services to the station.

In the same press release, Sinclair announced plans to stop airing the 10:00 p.m. news from Cox owned San Francisco Bay Area FOX station KTVU. The station group said it plans on replacing the KTVU news with a local newscast.

A station spokesman told TVSpy when Sinclair bought the Reno FOX affiliate from Cox in February they started paying to air the KTVU newscast because it did so well in the ratings.

Doug Gealy Named Group Manager by Sinclair

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Doug Gealy group manager.

As group manager, Gealy will oversee Sinclair’s stations in the Washington, D.C, Raleigh, NC, and Richmond, VA, markets.

“Doug is a very seasoned broadcaster bringing 31 years of broadcast television experience, including 24 years of broadcast executive experience to Sinclair,” Steve Marks chief operating officer of Sinclair’s TV group said in a statement.

Gealy was founder of ACME Communications and served as and president, CEO and COO from 1997 until 2013.Before that he was EVP of Benedek Broadcasting. Between 1989 and 1996, he served as VP and GM of WHOI in Peoria, IL, and then president and GM of WCMH and WWHO in Columbus, OH.

Free Press Fires Back at Sinclair in Station Group’s Own Backyard

sinclair_304Free Press, the non-profit media watchdog and authors of a recent article targeting Sinclair Broadcasting is taking another shot at the media giant. This time, the organization has published an op-ed piece in The Baltimore Sun.

In the latest piece about Sinclair, which is based in nearby Hunt Valley, MD, two Free Press authors again take aim at the station group’s use of shell companies and its focus on the bottom line.

“These companies are doing everything they can to maximize profits,” said the authors. “Just last month, Sinclair fired nearly 30 employees from Seattle’s KOMO and Portland, Ore.’s KATU. This is par for the course for Sinclair, where the average number of employees per station has declined by nearly 20 percent since 2001.”

Sinclair president and CEO David Smith responded to the last Free Press article with a missive of his own titled, “Sinclair Comments on Inaccurate and Irresponsible Report Released by Free Press. Read more

Q3 Earnings: Sinclair Net Broadcast Revenues Up 35%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues of $303 million for the third quarter of 2013, a +34.7% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Net income was $36.3 million for the quarter, up from $26.2 million in the third quarter of 2012. In the non-election year, political revenues were $2.7 million, down from $27.8 million in the year-ago period. Local net broadcast revenues were up +53.3%, while national net broadcast revenues were down -7%. In terms of advertising, automotive, services, grocery, media, furniture and home products were up on a same-station basis, while telecommunications and paid programming were down.

“We are pleased with our solid third quarter results and expect to continue to grow our revenue share and provide additional value to our shareholders through our station acquisitions and the synergies and efficiencies of scale that we are creating as we continue to consolidate,” SBG president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “…As we look ahead, we are beginning to assess other possible avenues for growth after the after the industry consolidates, including enhancing our original content offerings and distribution, the pursuit of strategic partnerships and monetizing spectrum holdings, all with the intent of creating additional value for our shareholders.”

American Cable Association Petitions FCC Over Sinclair’s Latest Purchase

aca_logo_croppedThe American Cable Association has filed a petition asking the FCC to either restrict or deny Sinclair Broadcast Group’s purchase of New Age Media’s television stations.

The ACA is taking a different stance than other organizations who oppose Sinclair’s buying spree. The ACA is making it primarily about money. They’re concerned Sinclair could leverage its sidecar agreements and gang up on local cable providers to squeeze more money out of them rather than negotiate station by station.

In its FCC filing, the organization said, “ACA is concerned about the effect of the transaction on two markets where the transaction would result in Sinclair entering into agreements that allow it to coordinate the negotiation of retransmission consent agreements for two top-four rated Big Four television stations.” Read more

Sinclair Comes Out Swinging Over Allegations of ‘Sneaky Tactics’

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group has responded to the Free Press article “Stop The Media Giants” in which the public interest group claims station groups like Sinclair are using sneaky tactics to gobble up local TV stations, gut newsrooms, and give viewers only a single news voice that is often politically motivated.

“Sinclair is a prime example of what’s at stake,” said the Free Press piece. “The company has long used its local stations to push its own political agenda. It forced its stations to air the anti-John Kerry documentary Stolen Honor two weeks before Election Day in 2004 and made news anchors read a pro-Romney script on the eve of the 2012 election.”

Sinclair has responded in a press release by putting the words “report” and “public interest” in quotes when referring to the Free Press piece. The station group also called the statements made by the piece “egregious.”

The station group defends itself by claiming it has added more jobs and more news hours, while investing in the infrastructure of the stations it has acquired. The company points to a donation of $600,000 made to help victims of this Summer’s Oklahoma tornadoes as well as the hosting of Town Halls to let viewers voice their opinions on highly charged political topics and say the Free Press report is “an affront to the almost 5,600 hardworking and dedicated professionals that work for Sinclair.” You can read the entire statement after the jump. Read more

After Losing Belo to Gannett, Sinclair Reportedly Eyeing Gray, LIN and Raycom

sinclair logoBloomberg News reports Sinclair Broadcast Group is weighing more acquisitions after attempting to “steal Belo Corp. from the clutches of Gannett Co.” Gray Television, LIN Media and Raycom Media are seen as potential acquisition targets:

Sinclair twice tried to top Gannett’s offer for Belo in the days before the shareholder vote, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the process was private. Sinclair first sought to assemble a deal with various Belo shareholders, and then attempted to put together an offer with private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd., the people said. Neither effort led to a bid, they said, and Belo shareholders approved Gannett’s $1.5 billion offer on Sept. 25.

After missing out on Belo’s 20 TV stations, Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair may have to settle for alternatives. Gray, Lin and Raycom Media Inc. may be potential targets, said Paul Sweeney, a Bloomberg Industries analyst. In two years, Sinclair has announced $2.8 billion of deals as stations negotiate higher fees from cable systems. U.S. TV and broadcast deals have reached $8.7 billion this year, the most since 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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. Read more

Sinclair Closes on Titan Station Buy

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group has closed on its acquisition of the stock and broadcast assets of four Titan Broadcast stations.

The cash deal, worth more than $115 million, also includes Sinclair taking over Titan’s sales and service agreements with two stations.

Sinclair adds FOX affiliate KMPH and CW affiliate KFRE in Fresno-Visalia, CA, FOX affiliate KPTM in Omaha, NE, and FOX affiliate KPTH in Sioux City, IA. Sinclair will operate CW affiliate KXVO  in Omaha, NE, and CBS affiliate KMEG in Sioux City, IA.

According to The Baltimore Sun, “Once all the recently announced deals are finalized, Sinclair will own and operate, program or provide sales services to 162 television stations in 77 markets.”

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