The merger has become a flashpoint for various issues, including what is the relevant media market, the regulation of content, presidential politics, viewpoint diversity, national vs. local programming, next gen TV, and media ownership deregulation.
Debating the deal, at the Capitol Hill Visitor's Center, will be Sinclair counsel John Hane and David Goodfriend, president of Goodfriend Government Affairs and whose Sports Fans Coalition is a member of another coalition trying to block the deal.
The panel, which will be on the broader topic of "whether ownership rules matter in the internet age," will be moderated by Gigi Sohn, former top counselor to Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
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Panelists are Rebecca Hanson, SVP, strategy and Policy, Sinclair Broadcast Group; Eddie Lazarus, EVP and general counsel, Tribune (and former chief of staff to FCC Chairman Julius Genachwoski); Andrew Jay Schwartzman, Benton senior counselor at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Public Representation; Carmen Scurato, director for policy and legal affairs, National Hispanic Media Coalition; and Jim Winston, President, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.
The FCC is currently vetting the deal, having restarted its informal shot clock last week after pausing it to allow for more comment.