Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced it has approved the Nexstar-Tribune deal. The merger between Nexstar Media, the second largest owner of local television stations in the country, and Tribune Media would further consolidate local news. Additionally, Nexstar has confirmed that it will raise prices on Tribune content after the merger closes, forcing consumers to pay more for television in Tribune markets.
Public Knowledge opposes the merger because it poses many of the same risks as the failed Sinclair-Tribune deal: It jeopardizes competition, diversity, and local control in local television broadcasting.
The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“High-quality local news is incredibly important to our society and democracy. In particular, state and local governments are greatly improved by the sunshine of local reporting. The changing marketplace for news and information has made it more and more difficult for independent local news organizations to survive.
“Congress and the FCC determined years ago that television broadcasting is an especially important industry in which to have a diversity of outlets. Going further than the antitrust laws require, Congress gave the FCC the public interest standard and ownership caps for television broadcasters. Yet today, the important priority of localism in news was ignored, to the detriment of all of us, not only in our role as consumers but also as participants in our democracy.”
View our blog post, “Nexstar-Tribune Merger Threatens Our Public Discourse,” for more information on the merger.
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at email@example.com or 405-249-9435.