Sinclair Accused of Defying State Officials, Operating Unsafe Cable Car

By Kevin Eck 

Sinclair Broadcasting and WLOS are being accused of operating a cable car despite being told by the North Carolina Department of Labor to stop doing so because it’s unsafe.

The cable car, also known as a funicular, gives engineers access to the Asheville, N.C. ABC affiliate’s transmission tower at the top of Mount Pisgah’s 5,720 foot peak. Last January, state officials told WLOS and Sinclair it was unsafe and unauthorized and they ordered it to be shut down.

North Carolina “requires the funicular to have a certificate issued by the N.C. Department of Labor prior to operating, and the department has not issued one,” Labor Department’s chief spokesperson, Dolores Quesenberry told the Citizen-Times.

The Citizen-Times reports the funicular set off a “massive rescue operation” this January when it stranded a WLOS engineer on the mountain.

More than 50 state, county and municipal emergency responder personnel, 14 vehicles and a North Carolina National Guard Black Hawk helicopter were involved. State and county officials could not provide a total cost for the rescue.

Barry Faber, Sinclair’s general counsel and a company executive vice president, earlier this month described in another media report that company employees were using the funicular as “rumor.” He did not return a phone message and an email from the Citizen-Times requesting comment.

TVSpy asked WLOS for comment. We will update when we hear back.

image: Citizen-Times