|Photo by Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg|
Sinclair apparently thought it had friends in the White House, since it had struck a deal in 2016 with the Trump campaign for special access and broadcasts (a deal the Clinton campaign says it turned down). But last month FCC Chairman Ajit Pai sent the issue to an administrative law judge, "often viewed as a deal-killer," Margaret McGill reported for Politico. Pai, a Trump appointee, had been friendly to the deal, reviving a regulatory loophole that would have allowed Sinclair to duck federal limits on media ownership. Sinclair already has 173 TV stations, more than any other firm, and the 42 Tribune stations would have given it access to almost three-quarters of U.S. households.