Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and three other attorneys general are opposed to a potential Sinclair Broadcast Group merger, and are urging the Federal Communications Commission to reject the proposal. The merger would be between Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns Channel 10 and WJAR-TV, and Tribune Media.
The combination of the two stations would be able to reach 72 percent of U.S. television households, according to a filing submitted Thursday to the FCC. Having such an expansive reach means Sinclair would have an estimated market share of 45.2 percent, which is above the statutory limit for a national audience reach of 39 percent.
The filing states that “the proposed consolidation fails to further the public interest by allowing for increased consolidation that will decrease consumer choices and voices in the marketplace.”
Sinclair has faced criticism over its mandate that local stations like Rhode Island’s WJAR run conservatively oriented programing, including commentary by one of President Trump’s former administration officials.
The attorneys general concluded by saying that, “In the public interests of local ownership, diversity in broadcasting, and marketplace competition, we oppose the approval of the Sinclair and Tribune merger.”