Seattle-based Fisher Communications, which owns and operates KOMO-TV, KOMO Newsradio, and KVI-570 along with 19 other TV stations in eight states, has agreed to be acquired by Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting for $373 million. The $41 per share price represents a five percent premium over yesterday's close, and is up 44 percent since KOMO actively started seeking a buyer in early January.
But while that may be good news for Fisher shareholders, it kinda sucks for audiences here in Seattle. Sinclair is infamous for forcing its stations to air right-wing propaganda just before elections. Just two weeks before the 2004 presidential election, Sinclair ordered its 62 stations to air the Swift-Boat-funded "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" without commercials, a film that slandered Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's war record. During the 2010 midterm elections Sinclair stations ran a 25-minute infomercial that described President Obama as a "socialist" and accused him of raising money from Hamas. Last year, Sinclair stations in swing states Ohio and Florida ran anti-Obama election eve specials in the slot normally occupied by Nightline.
So yeah. That's who'll be running KOMO from here on out. And you thought that media ownership around these parts couldn't get any worse.