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Inspector General Conducting Probe of Timing of FCC Actions and Sinclair Deal

Inspector General Conducting Probe of Timing of FCC Actions and Sinclair Deal

FCC watchdog probes changes as the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai said that believed the responsibility for his agency to endorse rules permitting TV broadcasters to incessantly raise the number of stations they own.

Sinclair Broadcasting purchased Tribune Media a few short weeks after new rules were passed by the FCC that allowed this action. "I am particularly concerned about reports that Chairman Pai may have coordinated with Sinclair to time a series of Commission actions to benefit the company".

The FCC's inspector general is conducting an investigation into a series of FCC actions a year ago, and how they benefited Sinclair Broadcast Group in the midst of seeking regulatory approval for its acquisition of Tribune Media.

Pai has said the review has been by the book, and he has long argued for deregulating broadcasting and that the UHF discount should be looked at in tandem with the 39% ownership cap, including whether an analog discount should replace it, though he has also suggested the UHF discount was an anachronism. Sinclair followed up with a $3.9 billion deal to snap up Tribune, thanks to the new rules.

Even if the deal were approved, they said, any conclusions of improper conduct by Mr. Pai could give fuel to critics to challenge the review in courts.

In November, Pai's office told Ars that the request for an investigation "appears to be part of many Democrats' attempt to target one particular company because of its perceived political views". If the deal went through, this would make Sinclair the largest television broadcaster in the country with an audience of almost 70 percent of American households.

UN Slams Israel for Jailing Ahed Tamimi
NGO Monitor responded, "Ahed Tamimi is a prime example of how children are exploited and weaponized in the Arab-Israeli conflict". In the December 15 video, she talks about President Donald Trump's recognition a week earlier of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Killing net neutrality may have been an unpopular move, and sure, the commenting period leading up to the FCC's vote was a farce, but the process that was spearheaded by FCC chairman Ajit Pai was entirely legal. For many years, chairman Pai has called on the FCC to update its media ownership regulations - one of which dates back to 1975.

The extent of the investigation is not clear, nor is how long it will take.

Free Press wants "Pai and any other FCC staff subject to this inquiry [to] recuse themselves from all dealings related to Sinclair's proposed takeover of Tribune Media", González said.

Shortly after taking office in February, Pai announced he would overturn longstanding FCC rules about how many stations any one company could own.

FCC Plans To fine Sinclair $13.3 million Over Undisclosed Commercials.


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