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Newsmax and other conservative media outlets have voiced strong opposition to Sinclair Broadcast Group's proposed acquisition of Tribune Media, citing concerns such a deal would undermine a free press and quash competition, The New York Times reported.
Newsmax filed a petition Monday with the Federal Communications Commission asking it deny Sinclair's approval for its proposed nearly $4 billion merger with Tribune Media.
Press - Bedrock - Principle - American - Democracy
"A free and diverse press, a bedrock principle of American democracy, will be crippled by this proposed merger," Newsmax said in its filing.
If the merger is approved, Sinclair would own stations reaching 72 percent of U.S. households.
Law - Station - Group - Stations - Percent
Under current federal law, no station group can own stations reaching more than 39 percent of homes.
This "ownership cap," first instituted in 1985 by the FCC under President Reagan, sought to prevent major networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS from owning local stations throughout the country and controlling local news programming.
FCC - President - Trump - Homes - Method
But recently the FCC under President Trump redefined how homes are counted using a method that applied to UHF stations when technology did not allow those stations to fully broadcast into their markets.
The redefinition has been criticized as a political move to help Sinclair, a conservative-leaning station group, bypass the ownership cap.
Sinclair - Newsmax - CEO - Christopher - Ruddy
"I like Sinclair and think they're great," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said. "But by making these changes for Sinclair and subverting the ownership cap, the FCC is opening the barnyard door for NBC, CBS, and ABC to do the same thing."
"If this deal is approved, local news...
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