May 6, 2021
On October 20, 2020, I, Sue Wilson, filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the Federal Communications Commission to obtain documents pertaining to the FCC's decision to enter into a Consent Decree with Sinclair Broadcasting over its behavior in its proposed merger with Tribune Media. The Commission itself ordered a public hearing over Sinclair's deliberate misstatements it made to the FCC in its application to merge with Tribune. Administrative Law Judge Jane Halprin called into question whether, given the gravity of the misstatements, Sinclair had sufficient character to hold any broadcast licenses.
Rather than follow through with the public hearing, the Commission made a deal behind closed doors to issue a Consent Decree and fine Sinclair $48 million. What specific information did Sinclair provide the FCC that resolved these all important character issues?
Today, the FCC responded with a few documents which are already on the public record. They provided no documents that explain or justify why they made the decision to, in secret, dismiss the character and misrepresentation issues it had previously raised.
April 1, 2021, my attorney Arthur Belendiuk filed a Complaint on my behalf with the District Court of Appeals in Washington, DC to obtain the required documents. We will continue to pursue these documents in the Courts.