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Thanks to Trump's FCC, One Broadcast Group May Control 72 Percent of Local Television

Many Americans may not have heard of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, but the company may soon be responsible for more than a third of U.S. local TV stations. As Amy Goodman and Juan González explain during a recent episode of Democracy Now!, the broadcast company is close to finishing a $4 billion deal to purchase Tribune Media.

González and Goodman then speak to Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the organization Free Press, about Sinclair Broadcast Group’s growing control and why the deal is alarming.

Aaron begins by discussing Ajit Pai, the new head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under President Trump.

“We’re really concerned about so many things happening at the FCC right now, because Ajit Pai, Donald Trump’s pick to head the agency, has been dismantling all kinds of consumer protections and regulations,” Aaron says. “And at the same time, they’re unleashing unprecedented … a wave of media consolidation, allowing a company like Sinclair to expand far, far beyond the limits that were established by Congress on how many stations one company should be allowed to own.”

READ:Killing Net Neutrality Is a Critical Goal in Trump’s Campaign Against Free Speech

He then lays out how the broadcasting group has ties to the Trump administration, noting that Sinclair is no longer worried “about the FCC getting in the way” of the deal because “it’s the FCC who is arranging for them to be able to pull off these megadeals.”

“If they get this deal done and all their pending deals, Sinclair will reach 72 percent of the U.S. population,” Aaron concludes. “At a time where we need more local news, more competition, more choices, better-informed communities, what we’re getting is the same cookie-cutter content coast to coast.”

—Posted by Emma Niles

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