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Sinclair Broadcast Group

From Academic Kids

The Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) is the operator of the largest number of local television stations in the United States, with a total of 62 stations across the country in 39 small and medium markets. Broadcasts by SBG stations can be received by 24 percent of American households. The company is based in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

Contents

Background

Many stations are owned outright by the company, but many others are affiliated through local marketing agreements, or LMAs. The stations are affiliates of various television networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN, and the WB. Two of the stations are independents.

SBG has been compared to the radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications. The company, founded by Julian Smith, originated in 1971 as a UHF station in Baltimore, Maryland. It is currently run by CEO David Smith and three other sons of Julian Smith.

Network # Stations
Fox 20
WB 19
ABC 8
UPN 6
NBC 4
CBS 3
Independent 2

SBG has experimented with using a centralized news organization called "News Central" that provides pre-packaged news segments for distribution to several of the group's stations. These segments are integrated into programming during local news broadcasts. Mark Hyman, a high-ranking executive at SBG, also creates editorial segments called "The Point" that are broadcast on all of the group's 62 stations. In addition, most of the stations that air "News Central" emulate the pre-packaged news studio appearance for local stories.

As of December 2, 2004, it was announced that the station KOVR would be sold (http://www.sbgi.net/press/release_2004122_93.shtml) to CBS parent Viacom pending regulatory approval.

Nightline controversy

In 2004, the media group attracted controversy when it decided that eight ABC stations it owned would not be allowed to broadcast an April 30 airing of a Nightline tribute to the 721 soldiers killed in the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The group issued a statement that said in part, "The action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq." ABC responded, saying that the program was meant to be an expression of respect which seeks to honor those who have laid down their lives for this country."

For differing reasons, the decision to not air the episode attracted criticism both from supporters and opponents of the Iraq war. Affected stations were in the markets in the following areas:

WTXL in Tallahassee, Florida, owned by Media Venture Management and part of an outsourcing agreement with SBG, decided to air the program. In other affected areas, a number of independent stations stepped into the breach to air the broadcast.

Kerry film controversy

In October 2004, it was reported that Sinclair would order all 62 of its affiliate stations to preempt prime time programming to air Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, a documentary critical of U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activism, just two weeks before the November 2 election. [1] (http://money.cnn.com/2004/10/12/news/newsmakers/sinclair_kerry/) The film was produced by Carlton Sherwood, a former associate of Tom Ridge, and accuses John Kerry of prolonging the Vietnam War because of his antiwar activism. The organization Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an anti-Kerry organization whose name has become well known in this election year, is cross-promoting the film as part of a $1.4 million advertising campaign. [2] (http://www.washingtondispatch.com/culture/archives/000649.html)

In response, the Democratic National Committee filed a legal motion with the Federal Election Commission stating that it is inappropriate for the media organization to air "partisan propaganda" in the last 10 days of an election campaign. [3] (http://www.democrats.org/news/200410110001.html)

Sinclair fired its Washington bureau chief Jon Leiberman, stating he revealed company business when he publicly discussed the documentary in an interview published October 18th in the Baltimore Sun.

Stations operated by SBG

State Market Call sign Network Channel
Alabama Birmingham WTTO WB 21 / 28 Digital
WABM UPN 68 / 36
WDBB (L) WB 17 / 18
Florida Pensacola WEAR ABC 3 / 17
WFGX (L) 35 / 25
Tallahassee WTWC NBC 40 / 2
WTXL (O) ABC 27 / 22
Tampa WTTA (L) WB 38 / 57
Illinois Peoria WYZZ Fox 43 / 28
Champaign WICS NBC 20 / 42
WICD NBC 15 / 41
Iowa Cedar Rapids KGAN CBS 2 / 51
Des Moines KDSM Fox 17 / 6
Kentucky Lexington WDKY Fox 56 / 4
Paducah KBSI Fox 23 / 22
WDKA (L) WB 49 / 50
Maryland Baltimore WBFF Fox 45 / 46
WNUV (L) WB 54 / 40
Massachusetts Springfield WGGB ABC 40 / 55
Maine Portland WGME CBS 13 / 38
Michigan Flint WSMH Fox 66 / 16
Minnesota Minneapolis KMWB WB 23 / 22
Missouri Kansas City KSMO (M) WB 62 / 47
St. Louis KDNL ABC 30 / 31
New York Buffalo WUTV Fox 29 / 14
WNYO WB 49 / 34
Rochester WUHF Fox 31 / 28
Syracuse WSYT Fox 68 / 19
WNYS (L) WB 43 / 44
Nevada Las Vegas KVWB WB 21 / 22
KFBT 33 / 29
State Market Call sign Network Channel
North Carolina Asheville WBSC (L) WB 40 / 14
WLOS ABC 13 / 56
Greensboro WXLV ABC 45 / 29
WUPN UPN 48 / 33
Raleigh-Durham WLFL WB 22 / 57
WRDC UPN 28 / 27
Ohio Cincinnati WSTR WB 64 / 33
Columbus WTTE (L) Fox 28 / 36
WSYX ABC 6 / 13
Dayton WKEF ABC 22 / 51
WRGT (L) Fox 45 / 30
Oklahoma Oklahoma City KOCB WB 34 / 33
KOKH Fox 25 / 24
Pennsylvania Pittsburgh WPGH Fox 53 / 43
WCWB WB 22 / 42
South Carolina Charleston WMMP UPN 36 / 35
WTAT (L) Fox 24 / 40
Tennessee Nashville WZTV Fox 17 / 15
WUXP UPN 30 / 21
WNAB (O) WB 58 / 23
Tri-Cities WEMT Fox 39 / 38
Texas San Antonio KABB Fox 29 / 30
KRRT WB 35 / 32
West Virginia Charleston WCHS ABC 8 / 41
WVAH (L) Fox 11 / 19
Wisconsin Madison WMSN Fox 47 / 11
Milwaukee WCGV UPN 24 / 25
WVTV WB 18 / 61
Virginia Norfolk WTVZ WB 33 / 38
Richmond WRLH Fox 35 / 26
(L) – Local marketing agreement
(O) – Outsourcing agreement
(M) – sale to Meredith announced (http://www.sbgi.net/press/release_20041112_91.shtml) on November 12,2004
(V) – sale to Viacom announced (http://www.sbgi.net/press/release_2004122_93.shtml) on December 2,2004

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