Sinclair Broadcast Group said it was raising the minimum hourly wage it pays applicable employees to $15, effective Dec. 29.
Sinclair also said it would make improvements to other employee benefits, including time off and enhancing affordable health care.
“At Sinclair, we recognize that we would be nothing without our hardworking and dedicated employees,” said Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s president and CEO. “This is why we continually work to improve our practices, policies and benefits. With this latest change, we hope to make a meaningful impact on the professional and personal lives of so many valuable members of our team.”
One of the largest TV station owners in the U.S., Sinclair has been known for its conservative political stance. The company recently scrapped the controversial “must-run” commentary segments that appeared in newscasts on its stations. The segments featured Boris Epshteyn, a former aide to President Trump. The last commentary aired Dec. 13. Sinclair said it was shifting away from political commentary in favor of investigative reporting.
In announcing its new employee benefits, Sinclair said it was committed to being an “employer of choice” and that its new actions demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility and employee satisfaction.
New benefits announced by Sinclair include increasing its 401K company match, reducing the waiting period for benefits to begin, improving paid time-off benefits and maintaining and enhancing affordable health care.
The minimum wage increase affects employees whose minimum wage had been tied to state and federal regulations, the company said. That amounts to about 15% of its workforce.
In addition to owning 191 TV stations in 89 markets, Sinclair owns the Tennis Channel and recently acquired the Fox regional sports networks from the Walt Disney Co.