Sports have always had a spooky side. Son of Sam stalked the Yankees’ backyard in the 1970s. The Gipper haunts Notre Dame. But today, one of the scariest stories in sports is the tale of David Smith, Executive Chairman of Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
Smith’s broadcasting empire has lurked in your living rooms for years now. Roiling in secret, Smith and his horde of Sinclair executives are ready to strike at the heart of your home — your television. Soon, your family will gather around the TV to watch your favorite team. You’re sporting your team colors, delicious snacks, and the familiar cheer of a family tradition, you flip on the TV. Instead of seeing your friendly local sportscaster, though, an imposter shows up — an evil corporate stuffed shirt from some remote studio on the East Coast. Without a trace, the friendly face you’ve come to rely on will be gone forever. Sinclair has fired him and moved the entire newsroom to Baltimore.
Think this is just a made up horror story for Halloween? Guess again. For years, David Smith and his company have bought local TV stations, fired long-time sports reporters, and moved the whole operation to their corporate headquarters. They did it in Oklahoma City and Rochester, NY Fox Affiliates. And they’ll do it to you, especially if you live in Chicago, New York, L.A., or any other city served by Tribune stations.
With Sinclair’s pending attempt to take over Tribune TV stations, the horror story is about to get worse. Your TV bill will come and, stricken with horror, you’ll discover your pay-TV rates continue to climb to alarming heights never imagined. Your content will decay into a dismal pile of lifeless remains; your beloved local sports content consumed by mediocre talking heads.
David Smith may not be the boogeyman your parents warned us about. But he’s the boogeyman who’s here. His victim pool spans the country, and now, he’s coming for you.