Staples Shuns Sinclair News

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Office supply products chain Staples confirms that it is pulling its advertising from newscasts on Sinclair Broadcast Group TV stations as of Jan. 10.

Anti-consolidation activist group Media Matters for America was trumpeting the move, attributing it to its campaign against the broadcaster.According to the e-mail, Staples said: "As a result of Staples' ongoing review of its advertising media activity, Staples will no longer be airing advertising on any Sinclair stations' news programs as of Jan 10, 2005."

Media Matters, with assists from MoveOn.org, MediaChannel and other consolidation foes, launched the SinclairAction.com Web site last month, in part to drum up e-mails to advertisers. The group says it generated over 36,000 e-mails to Staples. Staples spokesman Owen Davis would not say why the company pulled the ads, beyond saying that it was in response to customers who expressed concerns, "some of which may have been aware of the Media Matters campaign."

Davis said national advertising will continue to air in other dayparts on Sinclair stations. He did not know how many of Sinclair's 62 stations were affected or how much the total buy constituted.

The campaign aims to spur action against Sinclair Broadcast Group's 62 television stations for what Media Matters says is "systematically promot[ing] partisan political interests." Of particular concern is a nightly "news and commentary" segment, "The Point," by Sinclair VP Mark Hyman, as well as Sinclair's airing before the election of parts of an anti-Kerry documentary.

Hyman had no comment at press time.

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