July 3rd, 2017

Local television news in Cleveland is about to get a whole lot worse.

Full disclosure, I don’t remember when I last watched a local television news show from Cleveland, but I suspect that I might have last watched one in 1992, the year I tossed my television on the tree lawn. I recognize, however, that I am an extreme example and that millions of Americans get a significant amount of their daily news from local shows.

So, what is the Sinclair Broadcast Group? I’ll leave John Oliver to deliver the gory details, but the nut is that Sinclair is slightly to the right of Fox and insidious in the infiltration and destruction of local news voices.

At present, the Hunt Valley, Maryland-based corporation owns seven Ohio stations:

—WKRC, Cincinnati
—WSYX, Columbus
—WTTE, Columbus
—WWHO, Columbus
—WKEF, Dayton
—WRGT, Dayton
—WTOV, Steubenville and
—WNWO, Toledo

Sinclair wants to purchase another television group, Tribune Media, for $4.4 billion, according to John Oliver. (The precise figure is less certain. I found numbers as low as $3.9 and as high as $6.6 billion depending upon how you read the deal.)

If that deal succeeds, and the Federal Communication Commission approves—far from a stretch in Washington—Sinclair Broadcast will move into Northeast Ohio with the acquisition of WJW in Cleveland bringing Must-Run television with such broadcast luminaries as Mark Hyman, Boris Alexandrovich Epshteyn and the horrifyingly named Terrorism Alert Desk to Cleveland.

Ghoulardi was never this scary…

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