Is the Sinclair/Tribune Deal Dead?


Sinclair is said to be totally shocked that the FCC has torpedoed their deal to buy Tribune and while the company is trying to keep the deal alive, many think it is on life support and could soon be dead. 

The FCC claim that Sinclair was "deceptive" in their dealings with the FCC is a strong sign that this deal could be over. 

B. Riley FBR Inc. analyst Barton Crockett said he’s never seen such “harsh” language from the FCC about an applicant for a merger. The “vitriolic” tone of the FCC statement makes it dubious that Sinclair and Tribune will be able to come back with divestitures that will satisfy the FCC, Crockett said in a note.

The one person that is smiling from ear to ear about Sinclair's problems in Fox owner Rupert Murdoch.

Bloomberg writes that the sudden setback for Sinclair is the latest evidence of Murdoch enjoying a hot streak in the nation’s capital. Since the 2016 presidential election, the billionaire has forged close ties with President Donald Trump. The president’s administration has recently made a series of decisions that could benefit Fox’s business or thwart its competitors. A spokesperson for Fox declined to comment.

Last year, Fox tried unsuccessfully to outbid Sinclair for Tribune. Afterward, in a rare move, Fox threatened to pull its affiliates from Sinclair and switch the stations to an independent broadcaster. Eventually, in order to satisfy regulators, Sinclair agreed to sell some Tribune stations to Fox, which, in turn, said it would renew Sinclair’s affiliation with more than two dozen stations.

Now, Fox could get all the Tribune stations and sell off the ones they don't want, maybe to Sinclair.

In other words the buyer could become the seller and the seller could become the buyer. 

And you just know that old Rupert would enjoy making Sinclair beg. 

Stay tuned...