Last November, we reported that Trump’s FCC had reversed some media ownership regulations to make it so one company could control a newspaper and multiple TV networks in a single region without needing to control a “main studio” in the area, which basically meant that a giant company could swoop into an area and take over virtually all media. That would be dangerous on its own, but it came right on the heels of a planned merger between Tribune Media and Sinclair Broadcasting, which is best known as the right-wing propaganda network that has been sliding its tentacles into countless local news networks around the country and swinging them so far to the right that it would offend Fox & Friends. The timing of this move seemed to suggest that new FCC head Ajit Pai was purposefully changing the rules to make Sinclair’s quest for media domination a bit easier, so much so that the FCC itself began to notice how overtly shady Pai was being.
Now, though, it seems like the FCC’s scheming was all for nothing, as Deadline says that a different giant media company has stepped in to ask for Tribune Media’s hand in merger marriage. The new suitor is Nexstar Media Group, the second largest local TV owner in the country (behind Sinclair), and it has apparently struck a new deal to buy Tribune Media for $4.1 billion. Neither party has issued a response to this, but a formal announcement of some kind is expected to come tomorrow. Assuming this all works out, it’ll make Nexstar the largest TV network owner in the country.
It’s hard to say whether this is good or bad, but at the very least, Nexstar doesn’t seem to have as much of a reputation for evil as Sinclair does. It’s still one big company buying up everything it can, which we are naturally opposed to, but it’s not like we can do much about that beyond saying snotty things on the internet anyway.