FCC chair: White House called about Sinclair-Tribune deal

August 16, 2018 - 2:17 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, an independent agency, says a White House official called to talk about a proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. and Tribune Media Co.

Ajit Pai told a Senate panel Thursday that Don McGahn, the White House counsel, called for a "status update" on the agency's action on the deal.

He said McGahn "saw something in the news and wanted to know what our decision was," but did not express an opinion. The call came July 16 or 17, Pai said. Pai on July 16 had expressed "serious concerns" about the merger.

The Tribune scrapped the deal on Aug. 9.

Trump tweeted that FCC's "disgraceful" action scuttled what would have been a "much needed" conservative voice among the "fake news" media.

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