FCC Approves Sinclair’s Allbritton Buy

By Kevin Eck 

sinclair_304The FCC has approved Sinclair Broadcast Group’s purchase of Allbritton Communications.

The sixteen page document released by the FCC also denied several petitions against the merger.

>UPDATE: William Lake, chief of the FCC Media Bureau released a statement outlining the terms of the deal. Which he wrote was approved “after the parties agreed to amend the proposal in three markets to comply with our ownership rules:


Consistent with DOJ review, Sinclair will divest the station in the Harrisburg market.

To comply with our local TV ownership rule, Sinclair will deliver the programming of stations in the Birmingham and Charleston markets via digital multicasting. This means that Sinclair will put the full programming of the stations on the digital signal of the stations it already owns. The licenses of the Allbritton stations that previously broadcast that programming will therefore be returned to the Commission. Most importantly, consumers will lose no programming currently available to them.

The originally proposed sidecar arrangements with Howard Stirk Holdings and Deerfield will not be included in the transaction.

To comply with our local TV ownership rule, Sinclair will terminate an improper sharing arrangement in the Charleston, South Carolina market.

Sinclair announced it was buying Allbritton in July of last year. The deal means Sinclair owns, operates, programs or provides sales service to to 162 stations in 78 markets. Sinclair stations now reach nearly 40 percent of US television households.