SEVERE WX : Freeze Warning - Freeze Watch View Alerts

Inspector says FCC chairman did not favor Sinclair

The chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission did not give preferential treatment to Sinclair Bro...

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 8:49 PM

The chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission did not give preferential treatment to Sinclair Broadcasting Group during an investigation into its proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, according to the regulator's Inspector General.

A report published Monday by the FCC Inspector General concluded there was "no evidence" that Chairman Ajit Pai engaged in "impropriety, unscrupulous behavior, favoritism towards Sinclair."

Pai came under scrutiny last year after he loosened media ownership rules in a way that critics said benefited conservative-leaning Sinclair, the largest owner of local television stations in the United States.

The Inspector General launched its investigation in November after Democratic members of Congress requested an investigation into whether Pai had "taken action to improperly benefit Sinclair."

Pai surprised observers last month when he said he had "serious concerns" about the Sinclair acquisition of Tribune. The full Commission then referred the merger to an administrative judge hearing, a lengthy process that often kills deals.

The FCC called into question whether some of Sinclair's proposed divestments of stations were a "sham" because they were being sold to people closely aligned with Sinclair and in agreements that would still allow Sinclair to operate the stations.

Trump slammed the FCC decision in July, saying it was "so sad and unfair," and that a deal between Sinclair and Tribune would have created "a great and much needed Conservative voice."

In August, Tribune pulled out of the merger and sued Sinclair for at least $1 billion, arguing Sinclair's negotiations with the US Justice Department and the FCC were "unnecessarily aggressive" and had killed the deal.

The Inspector General said it interviewed Pai and other FCC officials, and had looked at email correspondence, phone records, visitor logs and communications with the White House, but it did not find "any improper actions."

Pai told the Inspector General that he did not discuss Sinclair with Trump, though White House lawyer Don McGahn did call Pai on July 16 to discuss the status of the deal. Pai said he was never told or encouraged to take actions favorable to Sinclair.

"Actions taken by Chairman Pai in the rulemakings identified in the letters from Congress are, as he stated in his interview, consistent with his long-held, and publicly espoused, policy beliefs," the report found.

Pai said in a statement that he was "pleased" with the report's conclusions. "The suggestion that I favored any one company was absurd," he said.

Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 68°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 65°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Lafayette
Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 68°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 66°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 66°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 66°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 57°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 57°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 59°
Mild Monday Before Snow And Freezing Conditions
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708067

Reported Deaths: 13224
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion964881721
Lake51704945
Allen39185672
Hamilton34497405
St. Joseph34075540
Elkhart27306432
Vanderburgh22077394
Tippecanoe21818212
Porter17940299
Johnson17526374
Hendricks16803310
Clark12688190
Madison12350337
Vigo12211244
Monroe11462166
LaPorte11140204
Delaware10356184
Howard9662211
Kosciusko9127114
Hancock7979139
Bartholomew7888155
Warrick7684155
Floyd7560176
Wayne6899198
Grant6842171
Boone6552100
Morgan6395138
Dubois6084117
Marshall5783108
Dearborn570076
Cass5684102
Henry5577100
Noble542483
Jackson493269
Shelby479095
Lawrence4342118
Gibson428789
Harrison428170
Clinton419053
Montgomery417986
DeKalb410984
Whitley379639
Huntington379480
Miami372565
Knox366389
Steuben365257
Putnam352660
Jasper350546
Wabash347778
Adams337952
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308354
Daviess289299
Wells286381
Decatur278992
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268833
Scott261153
Clay253444
LaGrange253070
Randolph235680
Washington230931
Spencer227931
Jennings224747
Fountain208745
Sullivan207842
Starke204352
Owen192256
Fulton191739
Jay186129
Carroll185820
Perry180336
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113645
Newton103934
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82815
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0409

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events