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April 11, 2013 at 8:46 AM
Report of Fisher sale to Sinclair marks sad end of local TV ownership in Seattle
Update 9:38 a.m.: Fisher Communications President and CEO Colleen Brown confirmed the sale Thursday morning.
“Sinclair is the largest independent TV broadcaster in the country, and we believe its commitment to the industry along with its greater scale and sizable resources will provide our stations, team members and business partners with new opportunities to flourish,” Brown said in this KOMO news story.
Anyone else spot the Tweet below Wednesday night?
Just in: TV News Check reporting Sinclair wins bid to buy Fisher Communication stations, including KOMO-TV in Seattle.
— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) April 11, 2013
According to this report from TV News Check’s Price Colman, Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group has beaten LIN Media in a bidding war over Seattle’s Fisher Communications. Check out the Seattle Times news story, too.
“With other recent acquisitions, the Fisher buy would boost Sinclair’s station group to nearly 150 and give it a strong presence in the West,” Colman reports. “Fisher operates 13 full-power and seven low-power stations primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Its flagship station is KOMO, the ABC affiliate in Seattle.”
In this Jan. 16 editorial, our board lamented the potential loss of the city’s last locally owned television station.
“Media concentration in the nation’s top markets is a threat to independent ownership and to opportunities for minorities and women, from the boardroom to the newsroom,” we wrote. “Diverse ownership of the media, competitive journalism and a broad spectrum of opinion and analysis are vital for a robust democracy.”
Our feelings haven’t changed. The FCC should continue to take a hard look at its own media ownership rules.
On a personal note, I’m a former Fisher employee at stations in Seattle, Boise, and Portland. My thoughts go out to my former colleagues in those places. A change in ownership brings a certain degree of uncertainty. Maybe some new possibilities, too.