David D. Smith
President and CEO, Sinclair Broadcast Group
Controlled by founder Julian Sinclair Smith’s family, this publicly traded company is by far the largest
broadcaster in the United States with close to 200 local news stations across the country. Headquartered in Maryland, Sinclair controls the local news that over 40 percent of American households see in more than a 100 local markets. Sinclair has been buying more and more news stations and placing rightwing editorial with supposedly unbiased commentators. This year Deadspin compiled a video that went viral showing trusted local news anchors from Sinclair-controlled markets all reading from the same script word for word, ironically warning viewers about “fake news.” Former CBS Anchor Dan Rather has described Sinclair’s practices as “an assault on our democracy” that disseminates Orwellian-like propaganda to its local stations. In 2016 Politico reported that Jared Kushner struck a deal with Sinclair to get better coverage of Trump in return for more access to the campaign. Now it seems Trump may be repaying the favor. If the acquisition of 233 more stations is approved Sinclair will have unprecedented reach to 70 percent of local U.S. markets.