Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media Co. have jointly fired back at the many entities opposed to their merger, formally putting its words into writing via an Opposition to Petitions to Deny the deal filed late Tuesday (8/22) with the FCC.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, Sinclair and Tribune state that the Petitions to Deny “rely to a large extent on speculation and unsupported assumptions.” Even so, the Opposition nonetheless addresses each of the claims made in the Petitions, including the claims contained in the Petitions relating to retransmission consent negotiations.
“The Sinclair-Tribune filing clearly reaffirms that the proposed merger will advance the public interest by helping to shore up an industry buffeted by well-known economic challenges,” the companies assert. “In particular, as the Opposition demonstrates, the merger will give the combined company the ability to invest deeply in the free over-the-air delivery of local news, sports, and entertainment under the stewardship of a company, Sinclair, with an outstanding record of investing in its local stations and new broadcast technologies. As the record shows, Sinclair provides strong news, sports and entertainment programming that meets the needs of its stations’ local communities.”
In a statement, Sinclair President/CEO Chris Ripley said, “Sinclair firmly believes in the mission of local broadcasting and this filing fully explains the public interest benefits that this transaction will provide as a result of the efficiencies and scale created by the combination of Sinclair and Tribune. This acquisition will help to ensure the future of the free and local television model for both Tribune’s and Sinclair’s local communities.”
The Opposition to Petitions to Deny the merger can be found here: http://bit.ly/2vXzWgd. Miles Mason of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLC is Sinclair’s legal counsel in the matter.