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Posts Tagged ‘Sinclair Broadcast Group’

Seven Months Later, Sinclair’s WNWO Back on Buckeye Cable

sinclair_buckeyeThe seven month long retrans dispute between Block Communications owned Buckeye Cable and Sinclair owned Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO has been resolved.

At times, the tensions in the dispute went public with Buckeye depicting Sinclair as the Grinch in an ad in Block owned newspaper, The Blade. Sinclair countered by calling Buckeye’s tactics “juvenile” and “silly antics.”

Sinclair released a statement that said in part, “In addition to customary terms and conditions, the agreement provides for Buckeye to pay a signing bonus to WNWO-TV, which is in an amount that more than covers the legal fees incurred as a result of a complaint filed by Buckeye at the Federal Communications Commission alleging that Sinclair had failed to negotiate in good faith.”

While The Blade reported, “Both parties also agreed to withdraw the complaints they had filed against each other with the FCC.”

Sharyl Attkisson to Work as Investigative Reporter for Sinclair

SharylAttkissonFormer CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson will work for Sinclair Broadcasting as an independent freelance investigative reporter.

Attkisson quit CBS in March. At the time, Politico’s Dylan Byers reported Attkisson “had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said.”

In an email obtained by FTVLive, which first reported the story, Scott Livingston head of news for Sinclair wrote, “Sharyl will focus on stories that follow the money and waste watch type of investigations.” Waste Watch is a Sinclair investigative franchise.

Livingston told TVSpy Attkisson would file one to two pieces a month starting next week and that all Sinclair stations would be strongly encouraged to run them. He added, Attkisson “fits with our commitment to tracking the truth and being our advocate for the taxpayer.”

Q1 Earnings: Sinclair Broadcast Revenues Up 48%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported $373.9 million in net broadcast revenues for the first quarter of 2014, a 47.8% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $81 million, up 27.2% from the prior year period. Political revenues were $6.1 million compared to $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2013. Sinclair reports $8.2 million in revenues generated by the Super Bowl, and $3.7 million in revenues generated by the Sochi Olympics.

“There were many positives in the first quarter that reflect our solid underlying fundamentals, despite the slower than usual start to the year due to the impact of the severe and frigid weather in many of our markets,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “The first quarter benefited from incremental Super Bowl, Olympic and retransmission consent fee revenues, while political revenues exceeded expectations. We also benefited from lower television operating expenses across many of our stations. Our main focus now is on closing the Allbritton station acquisition and lobbying to reform broadcast ownership regulatory inequality.”

Sinclair Makes Management Changes at Toledo Station

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcasting has installed a new management team at its Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO “as part of its plan to beef up the station’s position in the marketplace.”

According to Toledo paper The Blade, Sinclair brought in five managers from WPTA in Fort Wayne, IN. WPTA is owned by Malara Broadcast Group.

Charity Freeman has been named general sales manager at WNWO. She previously was host of a WPTA-produced program called INsight.

Nicole Hahn, a producer at WPTA, has been named news director at WNWO, replacing Jim Blue, who is a Channel 24 co-anchor. Mr. Blue will continue to co-anchor the news at WNWO and become managing editor.

Sinclair has also created two new positions at Channel 24 that will be filled by former WPTA personnel. Read more

Sinclair Offers to Sell Stations Ahead of FCC Decision

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group told the FCC it will restructure its deal to buy Allbritton by selling some stations and stop providing services to others in order to comply with the proposed ban on shared service agreements.

Sinclair said it would sell WHP (CBS) in Harrisburg, PA, WMMP (MyTV) in Charleston, SC, WABM (MyTV) in Birmingham, AL, and would stop providing services to WTAT (FOX) in Charleston, SC, and would give the buyer of WHP the rights to an existing agreement to provide services to Harrisburg CW affiliate WLYH.

“The proposed changes to the transaction will have an immaterial impact on Sinclair as a whole and on the Allbritton transaction in particular,” David Smith, Sinclair’s president and CEO said in a statement. “Although we believe the shared services arrangements that were contemplated would have provided significant public interest benefits, including promoting minority ownership of broadcast stations.”

FCC Expected to Vote on Shared Service Agreement Ban

FCC_304Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler is expected to ask the FCC to vote on a ban of some shared-service agreements in the commissions next meeting.

The proposal is also expected to ban local stations from teaming up in retransmission negotiations.

Bloomberg reports Sinclair Broadcasting, along with several other station groups including Nexstar and LIN Media would be forced to give up some stations if the proposal passes.

Sinclair’s revenue last year from the type of arrangement the officials said Wheeler is most directly targeting amounted to $36 million, according to the filing. Sinclair reported $1.36 billion in revenue last year.

Sinclair fell 1.9 percent to $29.51 at 10:12 a.m. New York time. Nexstar lost 1.7 percent to $42.84, while Lin Media declined less than 1 percent to $23.09.

Wheeler needs to win a vote to pass the change at the FCC, where he is part of the three-member Democratic majority. The agency’s next meeting is March 31 in Washington. Read more

Q4 Earnings: Sinclair Broadcast Revenue Up 33%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues of $382.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 33.2% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $103.3 million, a 13.3% drop compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. The decline was due to the absence of political revenue in the non-election year, as well as one-time acquisition costs and a loss on the sale of WSYT in Syracuse. Local net broadcast revenues were up 58.1% and national net broadcast revenues were down 14.2% because of the drop in political advertising.

“2013 was a historic year for us, including growing broadcast revenues 32.3% to a record-breaking $1.2 billion, and once again leading the industry on station acquisitions,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “During the year we closed on the purchase of 63 television stations and added over $1.0 billion in assets, which contributed $148.4 million in revenues in 2013.”

Sinclair Names James Doty GM of WJAC

WJAC_6_NewsJames Doty has been named general manager of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Johnstown, PA, station WJAC.

We are pleased to have Jim join the team at WJAC,” Steve Pruett, co-chief operating officer at Sinclair, said in a statement. “Jim brings a long career in sales management, leading local and national sales teams. We believe his experience will be a valuable contribution to this market.”

Doty comes to the NBC affiliate from KPTM-KXVO in Omaha, NE, where he was the GSM. Before that he was the director of sales for Nexstar’s WCIA in Champaign, IL. He has also held various sales positions in Memphis and Jackson, TN, Houston, TX, and Harrisburg, PA.

Former Baltimore Anchor Joining Sinclair as National Correspondent

jackson_wjzKai Jackson, the longtime anchor for Baltimore’s CBS owned station WJZ, told The Baltimore Sun he’s joining Sinclair Broadcast Group as national correspondent.

“I’m really excited,” said Jackson, who left WJZ earlier this month. “It’s a company at the forefront of the industry, and I appreciate that they think I have something to offer.”

“Kai will be a special correspondent covering stories in the nation’s capitol for all of the Sinclair news operations,” Scott Livingston, VP of news at Sinclair told The Sun. “He will develop stories that focus on our commitment to advocacy journalism. Our goal is to produce stories that give context to the hot button issues in Washington.”

Jackson told The Sun he will start his new job January 2.

FCC Challenging Part of Sinclair’s Allbritton Buy

FCC_304The FCC is telling Sinclair Broadcast Group that part of its $985 million purchase of Allbritton Communications will violate ownership rules.

TVNewsCheck reported Friday, FCC Video Division chief Barbara Kreisman told Sinclair the way it has structured its deal to buy Allbritton’s ABC affiliates in Charleston, SC, Birmingham, AL, and Harrisburg, PA, would not afford it the grandfathered protection the station group had previously enjoyed, which allowed it to operate multiple stations in a single market.

Earlier, The American Cable Association wrote “Sinclair, fully aware that the FCC’s rules would not permit its outright ownership of these Charleston and Harrisburg stations, is also proposing to assign its own stations in these markets to third parties – so-called sidecar companies – while continuing to provide many “support services” to the stations through a variety of sharing agreements. ” Read more

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