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Sinclair's day on Wall Street:

And don't let up. Top institutional investors:

Earnest Partners
SHARES HELD: 4,946,278

Gabelli Asset Management Co (gamco)
SHARES HELD: 3,640,000

Westfield Capital Management Co
SHARES HELD: 2,616,950

Morgan Stanley Investment Management
SHARES HELD: 2,526,303

Neuberger Berman
SHARES HELD: 2,266,809

Putnam Investment Mgmt
SHARES HELD: 2,081,861

Perry Corp
SHARES HELD: 1,911,452

Barclays Global Investors Intl
SHARES HELD: 1,801,161

Blackrock Inc
SHARES HELD: 1,428,435

Janus Capital Corp
SHARES HELD: 1,417,887

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 03:56 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  wow (none)
    kos can twik the true rulers.
  •  This is pretty funny, unless it's true (4.00)
    From Argus Hamilton:

    The Sinclair Broadcasting Network said Friday it will give President Bush air time on Election Eve. The president will give his plans for peace and prosperity. Afterwards, peace and prosperity will be given equal air time to beg for their lives.

    Posted a brief diary entry on this. Anybody know if it's true, Bush getting air time I mean?

  •  would it be considered illegal (none)
    to short thier stock while we destroy them? Don't want to end up in Martha S. territory.

    this is your mission: TERMINATE the Bush presidency

    by nevadadem on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 07:56:46 PM PDT

    •  A boycott isn't "insider info" (none)
      It's all good. Short away.

      "Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain

      by soultaco on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 07:58:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doing Well And Doing Good (none)
        short the fuckers.  Given the stock's performerance, down 50% in 6 months and 1.5% TODAY, seems like a pretty  damn good call.

        Have fun with comments@sbgi.net I'm sure they'd love to hear from you.

        You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

        by mattman on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:25:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  BUY instead (none)
          Buy Sinclair stock, say 100 shares. Then start a shareholder lawsuit claiming that the decline in the shareprice is due to the decision to risk their FCC licenses by indulging in the CEO's personal political interests.

          CEO corruption of this kind is getting really unpopular on the street. Link him to Dunlap, Koslowski and Bush's favorite CEO, Kenny Boy Lay.

        •  yeahbut (none)
          watch the short-covering. wouldn't want to contribute a panic run-up.

          with 1.26MM short shares outstanding (4%) and essentially at its 52-week low, i don't know how much is left to go, unless we get G. Soros in on the game.

          interesting detail on financials:


          For the 6 months ended 6/30/04, revenues rose 3%... Net income $17.9M vs a loss of $5.9M. Results reflect an increase in adv. revenue from political, paid programming, services, automotive, school sector and telecommunication sectors.

          ...the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes.

          by it was a boojum on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:10:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  umm (none)
            there's been over $1,000,000,000 spent on media for this election.  Everyone's revenue is up, even dkos's.
          •  Not a bad idea (none)
            George Soros shorting the fuck out of this stock, and doing so in public would terrify the institutional investors. This short is begging to be shorted as it is irregardless of the latest bonehead move.

            Soros could make a killing and save democracy all at one time.

          •  Ah but ... (none)
            They had to revise their third quarter estimate downwards:

            BALTIMORE, Oct. 4 PRNewswire-FirstCall -- Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI - News) announced today that it is revising its net broadcast revenue estimate for the third quarter ended September 30, 2004.

            Initial guidance was for third quarter net broadcast revenues to be up 4% to 5% from third quarter 2003 net broadcast revenues of $161.3 million. However, due to weakness primarily in auto advertising spending and cancellations resulting from the recent hurricanes which impacted eight of the Company's television stations in the Southeast, the Company is revising its net broadcast revenue guidance to be approximately $163.7 million in the third quarter.

            Sinclair will release final third quarter 2004 earnings results on Thursday, November 4, 2004 at 7:30 am ET.

            •  Huh...go figure (none)
              Maybe those Nascar Dads aren't really spending quite so much on SUVs as was suspected...  Probably hard to afford a new Explorer, since their factory job was farmed out to Indonesia and they had to make do in their new job as WalMart greeter.

              Not to sound mean or snide, but this economy hurts the non-college crowd more than anyone else - why do these guys so strenuously support the Bush admin?

              -Fe Wm.

            •  My Letter to Janus Capital on Sinclair (none)
              Gentlemen, We have been investors in Janus funds for well over a decade and have an excess of 10K worth of shares with you. We can not abide our ownership of holdings in the Sinclair Broadcast Group which plans a wholly illegal TV propaganda blitz to influence the election in a highly partisan manner. This is NOT a good use for my hard earned retirement dollars. It is reflective of bad corporate management and is participating in an illegal scheme to influence the upcoming
              election. This to me is abhorrent to everything I think of of good corporate governance and I therefore urge you to divest from this flagrantly nefarious the Sinclair Broadcast Group. I will be removing my funds from your group in protest of such ownership in this corporation that is actively engaging in an ongoing criminal
              enterprise.
    •  No.. (none)
      it may be financial suicide.. though...

      No law against shorting it... this doesn't represent material insider info...

      •  nah, pretty controllable (4.00)
        you can lose your shirt if the stock is volatile, but this one isn't, at least on the upside.

        they just got downgraded because of reduced ad sales coming out of the hurricanes. they don't release earnings until november 4, so even if they surprise on the upside, it won't be before that.

        and the downside is pure profit. I wanna see this pig become a penny stock.

    •  I say, go for it and send the money to Kerry!! (none)

      Go Kerry! You are so much more than an ABB! Who knew?

      by CalDoc on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:32:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Barclays (none)
    Barclays runs what are essentially low-cost institutional index funds (they're not technically mutual funds, in order to sidestep disclosure and regulation). I suspect that a large fraction of the shares they hold are in the index operation. We're not going to be able to convince them to sell on the basis of politics, although influencing a proxy vote is not unthinkable.
    •  Not the Point (3.50)
      We don't want them to sell.  We want them to vote the board out and sue them for not running the company in the interest of the shareholders.  I don't know whether index fund shareholders vote.  I don't see why they wouldn't.  They have as much interest as any other mutual fund in seeing that the shares in the index perform.
      •  Voting by institutions (none)
        Mutual fund operations do vote, but often with odd motives, such as retaining a company as a 401k or pension client.

        In the case of index funds, I believe that it is common for them to outsource voting decisions to ISS. Any attempt to get the board thrown out needs to involve convincing the folks at ISS that such a move is to the financial advantage of the shareholders.

      •  Barclays (BGI) is (none)
        fully indexed.. their ownership is soley based on Sinclair's weight in various indicies.  By charter they have to own it..

        Writing to BGI is a waste of time.

      •  Not possible (none)
        Based on the A/B share structure of this company, it is not possible to vote the board out.

        I'll reiterate - someone should buy a share of stock and send a shareholder proposal to the corporate secretary ASAP that somehow links the "documentary" and Smith's prostitution arrest.

        If they didn't withdraw plans to broadcast the show immediately, I'd be shocked.

        For y'all who are activists, it's not hard to use a proposal - hit 'em where they're weak.

    •  You are right on Barclays (none)
      Barclays doesn't make active investment decisions. But all those others on the institutional investor list are fair game. Especially Westfield, which manages money for the City of Boston (I learned here).

      Addicted to the Yahoo message board

      Investors really read this. You too can post if you want. They've already got links back into Kos.

    •  Its the Pension Managers...not the Fund Managers (none)
      dont waste your time with BGI (or most of the other companies listed above). I know what I am talking about since I have worked in this biz including these companies. They dont take positions...and they must buy within indexes and/or sectors which Sinclair is in.

      go to the Pension Managers
      That being said during the days of Apartheid some of their customers (large pension funds) did request index funds without companies invested in S. Africa, they have also created portfolios without tobacco stocks in them, but all of this is only done based on the requests of clients.

      If you want to hurt Sinclair you will have to go to the Pension Plan managers directly...not the investment houses. Political pressure has worked there before.

      I would suggest you start with the more 'progressive' companies, however bear in mind that many newer companies dont even have traditional pension plans (only 401k plans).

      you might want to try CALSTERS (The California Public Employees' Retirement System ) or CALPERS (California State Teachers Retirement System) or other state pensions (who use BGI and other similiar companies).

      ...that being said I doubt you will get anywhere , but you could try (but again dont bother with the fund managers, you will go nowhere fast with them)

      •  Wait. (none)
        Neuberger isn't an indexer, neither is Janus, Westfield or BlackRock.  Putnam probably actively manages this as well.  Gabelli owns too much to be indexing.

        The largest institutional holders are by no means forced to hold the stock, and will respond to information that makes them think this boycott will have long term downside.

      •  I like the idea of pressuring fund managers (none)
        I am in the industry, and since we are trying to get Sinclair to move fast to pull this thing, best thing is to get the hedge funds and day traders worried that the stock is in trouble (it is).

        Check out this from the Yahoo message board

        "This business with the Kerry 'documentary' should go down in business history as a case study in corporate malfeasance. Regardless of which candidate you support, as a shareholder this kind of thing has to make you sick. Management is choosing to forgo revenues derived from normal 'prime time' advertising in favor of showing a politically slanted program clearly designed to sway voters. It's fine for management of a company to favor one candidate over another, but to attempt to sway public opinion at the expense of shareholders is clearly wrong.

        This would be the equivalent of McDonald's shutting down all of their restaurants at lunchtime and then having employees stand by the road with "Bush Sucks!" signs"

        •  website for stock attacks? (none)
          I have no idea what you all are talking about because I'm fiscally retarded, but I was wondering -- is there some kind of site for things like this? I know there are places where you can keep track of progressive boycotts, but the stock strategies you all are talking about are much more convoluted and probably very effective. If such a site doesn't exist, maybe those of you in the know could start one -- a clearinghouse of companies being targeted, the reasons why, and the game plan.
        •  The List is there (none)
          Try Janus Funds as well as Franklin Templeton - just tell them you are a customer and that you will drop your fund if Sinclair insists on violating FCC rules and doing political work rather than broadcasting.

          The contact info is on the database.

        •  Here's my question (none)
          I wasn't hoping for divestiture or emergency board meetings or such. What's the cance that one of these folks will call a counterpart at Sinclair and complain about the PR problem with being blatantly  political? I assume all these guys know each other I guess.

          "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

          by johnmorris on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:00:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  High (none)
            The chance is very, very high.

            Even under Reg FD (new-ish disclosure rules), there is a whole lot of communication between analysts and investors and the company.

            I think more than a few of our targets will contact Sinclair.  This is a very effective tactic.

            Thanks to all who are paticipating - you're making a difference!

        •  LETTER TO FUND MANAGERS (none)
          To: invest@earnestpartners.com, kclark@wcmgmt.com, mfearey@wcmgmt.com, instfeed@ms.com, sbutler@lehman.com, tom.taggart@barclaysglobal.com, christine.hudacko@barclaysglobal.com, lance.berg@barclaysglobal.com, consultant.resource@barclaysglobal.com, staffing@barclaysglobal.com, client.reporting@barclaysglobal.com, michael.baney@janus.com, nicole.catalano@janus.com, melissa.bettmanahern@janus.com
          Cc: mhyman@sbgnet.com, dsmith@sbgnet.com, jdefeo@sbgnet.com

          This is a note to let you know that your contact information is being circulated around the world with the stain of the political propaganda that is being perpetrated in your name by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group.  A look at Sinclair's quote chart* is reason enough for your investors to take a serious look at the long term viability of this investment.  Less people are watching its product as a result of its partisan politics, and advertisers are not long to see the trend.  The downward shift started in August when the group refused to air the Nightline broadcast where Ted Koppel read the names of the soldiers who gave their lives to protect our country.  The latest move, of which I'm sure you are aware, to air an anti-Kerry propoganda movie when millions will tune in to see regularly scheduled programming, should be the nail in the coffin of this outlet that cannot help itself from forcing its political agenda down the throats of its innocent viewers.
          * see: SBGI STOCK

          I don't know how accurate it all is, or if they care, but I just wanted to e-mail somebody with my gut feelings and if it helps those on this site to have the to: and cc: addresses, then it is worth it.  Those of you in the business can write a better letter.  I'm also financially retarded.

          Bush + Dick = F**ked

          by intrados on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:29:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It may work for most (none)
            But you don't need to email Barclays Global Investors. They own the stock because of their index funds and don't make any active decisions.  

            But the others are probably fine addresses. I posted elsewhere that the biggest institutional holder, Earnest Investors has as its CEO Paul E. Viera, who has donated $7000 to Ba,rak Obama and $2000 to John Kerry.  He probably already knows what's up by now.  

            found the info on opensecrets.org

  •  YES YES YES!!! (4.00)
    And be SURE TO HIT THEM "LOCALLY"!!

    Find the local businesses who advertize on a local Sinclair network and write to them letting them know that you and your family and friends will not purchase one more product or service until they cut all ties with Sinclair.

    The local businesses are the ones who don't have the financial "depth" to go ride through a boycott and will jump ship ASAP.

    And BE SURE TO HIT THE STATIONS IN THE BATTLE GROUND STATES!

    NO MY CAPS LOCK ISN'T BROKEN! :-)

    You folks rule.... Way to go.

    "The identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Bush v. Gore

    by DeanorBust on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 07:58:08 PM PDT

    •  Kansas City WB62 is a Sinclair station (none)
      http://www.wb62.com/

      I found that out this morning but I haven't had time to act on it yet. I will have to start recording their shows to find out who the local sponsors are. I suspect that local action is more likely to succeed than national action. Dunno if there's any valid reason to believe that though.

      NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

      by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:23:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Meet them in St. Louis at ABC30 (none)
      http://www.abcstlouis.com/

      Wow, whatta LAME website they have! Under construction on their homepage fer cryin' out loud. Sad sad sad.

      NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

      by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:28:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kansas City WB62 feedback page (none)
      http://www.wb62.com/feedback/feedback.htm

      I notice that the banner ad for that page shows Michael J. Fox in "Spin City" - I wonder how many viewers of Spin City on WB62 know that Mr. Fox supports John Kerry for President and that their station will preempt regular programming to spin for Dubya quite soon.

      NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

      by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:30:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no need to (none)
      just focus on companies local to the stations controlled by Sinclair... there are several companies listed in the earlier post that are national franchises (applebees, Taco Bell, Long John's Silvers, JC Penney...  Even if you don't live in the market (I reside in Blue state Illinois outside of the range of the Peoria Local station) these companies will listen to a loud groundswell if they see their profits and customer base threatened...  

      I have forwarded emails to each of the above to indicate that I will never again patronize their businesses if the political hatchet job by Sinclair occurs and they are not extensive in their opposition via both verbal repudiation and financial withdrawal of advertising if need be...

      As noted earlier be firm not strident, Professional not extreme...  

      •  Don't Be Confrontational (none)
        Just say that as a consumer you have choices and that you are happy to direct your business to businesses that don't indirectly support this sort of thing.

        -----

        Download it for Free.  www.thekerrymovie.com

  •  Shareholder Lawsuits (none)
    This might open the possibility of shareholder lawsuits.  I'll have to check my Corporations book to see the details.
    •  Check Ford v. Chrysler (none)
      and some case about having night games at wrigley field.
      Actually, even though Ford is about as good as month old egg salad, it does have an interesting similarity.  IIRC, Ford was forced to pay a dividend to the Chrysler brothers because a portion of his retained/foregone earnings plan was held to be for unduly political purposes.  Beleive it or not, the Chryslers sucessfully painted him as a socialist for his, my workers should be able to afford my cars thinking.
      Anyway, this could all be solved by states passing laws saying political activity is not a legitimate corporate purpose for a for-profit corporation.  Give it a twirl in one of those silly I & R states.

      Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

      by Myrkury on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:58:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would tend to agree (none)
      It's law that a corporation is obligated to act in the best interests of their shareholders.

      They should be forced to explain how airing a documentary that will likely attract less viewers than their normal programming is in their shareholder interest.

      What could they come up as a response?

      I'm sure they would be tempted to say "we believe George W.Bush's reelection is in our shareholders interest. But, if they mean that in any tangible way, (i.e more favorable treatment from the FEC), that would be a stunning indictement of the corruption in the system.

      They could argue that the controversy created by the program will drive up viewership, but that could obviously be quantified, even before it aired, by the amount of money taken in from advertisers compared to the amount they normally receive.

    •  VERY IMPORTANT! (none)
      This is the exact angle that will work more than boycotts, FCC involvement etc:

       Check out what Marshall has up on TPM! (sorry to paste this JMM, but this is important)

      A stockholder in Sinclair Broadcast Group can file what's called a "shareholder's derivative action" against the officers and directors of the corporation, which is publically traded, to enjoin the officers and directors from using corporate resources in ways that do not benefit the shareholders.  I believe Sinclair is incorporated in Maryland, and if so that's probably where the action should be brought.  One stockholder has standing to sue and should request a temporary restraining order before the pseudo-documentary airs to prevent the officers and directors from misusing corporate property to benefit their political agenda.  The reason it is misuse of corporate property is  because ordering the local stations to air the anti-Kerry propoganda will likely cause a loss of network advertising revenue, may in fact violate the stations' contracts with the networks they are affiliated with, and is almost sure to embroil the corporation in costly legal battles, for example from entities complaining that this is an illegal corporate campaign contribution, or from angry consumers who will contest the stations' license renewals.  Against this, there has to be some plausible benefit to the stockholders or the corporate action is unlawful and could subject the officers and directors to personal liability for any damage to the stockholders.  They also could be stuck with the legal fees of both the corporation and the stockholders who sued them.    

      Shareholders derivative actions are fairly complex; we need a Maryland corporate lawyer type.  I'm a lawyer in Texas and was thinking  to file the suit here but under Texas law, the acts of the officers and directors are governed by the corporate law of the state of incorporation, about which I know little.  However,  I do know that as a general principle, corporate officials have a fiduciary obligation to the stockholders, and everything they do is supposed to be for the benefit of the same.  Normally a court won't second-guess the decisions unless the stockholder can show that there is no plausible benefit to the corporation in the complained-of act.  What could the benefit be here?

      JMM: I'd be curious to hear reactions from readers with relevant legal or business experience how practicable this would be.  Of course, I'm curious about everyone's reactions.  But in this case I'm particularly interested in hearing with folks with professional insight into how this might work.  Of course, the most direct approach -- and I suspect a successful one if done correctly -- is to target Sinclair's advertisers.  Another reader writes in the following ...

      JMM:[I've removed the introduction to this letter where the reader describes a local TV market where he works.  Suffice it to say that he works in local TV and says he has friends who work at some of the Sinclair affiliates in question.]

      Let me tell you, they're NOT afraid in the least of the license challenges that Steve Soto has proposed.  I mean, what's the point?  If they air it, then fine, challenge away, I'm all for taking revenge on them.  But the goal should be to shut down the broadcast before it happens.  

      What they're deathly afraid of is the stink of this thing will somehow waft over to their advertisers.  That's of course why they're not selling local ad time for this show.   Having worked in the ad department of Sinclair's competitor, I know that local Sinclair stations make over 60%  of their ad revenue from their nightly 6pm newscast.  That's their bread and butter.  You make a concerted effort to go after their top advertisers on the 5pm/6pm news hour and you'll have the executives spiking this show so fast it'll be amazing.

      JMM: Again, I have no basis for judging what would work best, though common sense suggests that going after these guys on every front simultaneously would probably be the best bet.

  •  pwn3d (none)
    seriously.  pwn3d.

    "The war that is necessary is just and hallowed are the arms where no hope exists but in them." - Levy

    by mischief managed on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:01:18 PM PDT

  •  Anyone have any good (none)
    Form letters to businesses Re: why I am boycotting you?

    I'll like something excellent to tweak

    "The identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Bush v. Gore

    by DeanorBust on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:02:03 PM PDT

    •  For that matter... (none)
      ...how about a good phone script?

      "The identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Bush v. Gore

      by DeanorBust on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:00:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's my letter (none)
        Feel free to steal:

        Please discontinue advertising your products on TV Stations
        owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.  Sinclair's conduct in
        preempting regular broadcasting in order to air a vicious 60
        minute attack ad against John Kerry shows that they are (a)
        not good corporate citizens; (b) abusing the public
        airwaves; and (c) violating federal elections law.  

        In the age of the internet, it is easier than ever to
        monitor corporate conduct.  I personnally plan on monitoring
        which companies continue to advertise on Sinclair stations,
        and which ones take a moral stand and refuse.  I sincerely
        hope you stop advertising on Sinclair stations.  Not only is
        it the right thing to do, but it will be good business.

  •  Too bad that's only like....3% (none)
    I'd be happier if it were double digits
  •  What I don't get (none)
    Even if Sinclair has little to fear from Michael Powell, aren't they worried that a potential Kerry-appointed FCC head will call them on crap like this when it comes time to renew station licenses next year?

    Maybe there's something I'm not understanding here...seems like even rabidly partisan broadcasting execs would try to hedge their bets a bit more than this.

    "But, Saddam was a THREAT!" That's our refrain. Ask us again, and we'll tell you the same!

    by turbonium on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:06:13 PM PDT

    •  Rove must have promised them something big... (none)
      ...if Bush wins.  That's my guess.  Who knows what-could be a million things.  So, they are gambling big time on the horse they support anyways.
    •  What is there to call? (none)
      The "Fairness Doctrine" went out with the Reagan Administration. AFAIK, what they are doing is legal.

      NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

      by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:31:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're Getting Too Near Boundary Conditions (none)
      for conventional wisdom to be completely reliable.

      So much of the economy and so much of government is now Republican that people on that side are beginning to smell permanent victory over liberalism. I've seen a number of reports years in recent years of economic forces cutting back funding of Dems, feeling they don't have to hedge bets.

      Repubs and their interests might be wrong, we might be able to turn things around, but the arrogance being demonstrated across the leadership of the Republican party and parts of the economy and culture are possibly signs of something more ominous than misjudgement or madness.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:48:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Dean effect (none)
        Howard Dean effectively neutralized that, by proving that we could donate lesser amounts in greater numbers to acheive parity.  Kerry picked up where Dean left off quite effectively and has nearly matched Bush dollar for dollar.

        If we keep our current momentum both with Kerry and the various other federal races, we could well ake back the White House and at least one house of congress, forcing them back into the center.

        They may have wealth on their side, but we've got numbers.  That balance has been played out countless times throguhour our history, and this is just the latest installment.  I don't think we'l see it tip beyond the point of no return in our lifetime (though I'll be the first to say it's uncomfortably close).

      •  All large failures (none)
        are the result of the four horsemen:
        Arrogance
        Haste
        Hype and
        Greed
        They're showing the first cracks.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:05:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Democrats have money too (none)
        And it's about time the corporate world realized it.
  •  This is email and response from Ford (4.00)
    Here is the email I sent to sinclair and cc'd CNN, AJC, Geico and Ford Credit:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I find it disrespectful for you to air such blatantly partisan films
    such as Stolen Honor.  I would not watch Fahrenheit 9/11 nor would I
    watch Stolen Honor especially so close to an election.  There is now a
    massive boycott for your station and advertisers that I am going to
    participate in and convince all of my friends and family to join.  Here
    is a quick list of the Advertisers I was able to find and I am still
    compiling a list to print out and hand off to people.  I use a good
    majority of these products but not anymore and I am notifying each one
    of them by email or phone call to voice my disgust of your actions and
    hope they pull their advertising with you.

    Food and Grocery
    Arby's
    Halls Fruit Breezers
    Hardees
    Iams
    Kentucky Fried Chicken
    Miller Lite
    Mountain Dew
    Pepsi
    Taco Bell
    Cars
    Ford
    General Motors
    Isuzu
    Lincoln-Mercury
    Pontiac
    Toyota
    Computers, Electronics, Internet
    ABC Solutions
    CNN.com *
    Titan TV *
    Yahoo DSL
    Zigzagzone.com *
    Entertainment
    Florida Lottery
    Kentucky Lottery
    NFL
    Ringling Brothers (coming to Lexington, KY)
    Warner Brothers * (many Sinclair owned stations are WB stations)
    Loans and Real Estate
    Century 21
    Geico
    H&R Block
    Prudential
    Education
    ITT Tech *
    Sylvan Learning Centers
    Retail (Misc.)
    Oak Express

    Regards

    Mark, Atlanta GA
    ------------------------------------------------
    And here is a response from Ford Motor Credit, you may want to contact them at fcinfo@ford.com

    ---

    Dear MJ,

    Thank you for contacting Ford Credit.

    I appreciate your feedback and will pass on your suggestion to
    management when making further decisions for our advertisement.  Thank
    you for your email and providing me the opportunity to address this
    matter for you.

    Thank you for visiting Ford Credit on-line.

    Sincerely,

    Kristie Benigno
    Ford Credit

    •  At least they didn't ignore it... (none)
      •  They (none)
        have a very good customer service department.  I bought a truck from them in 2000 and they have been great.  Instead of going to Ford I went to Ford Motor Credit (bank).  They would be a lot quicker to listen.
        •  You've given me an idea-- (4.00)
          I see Toyota's on that list, and I just bought an '05 Toyota Scion.  I financed it through Toyota Motor Credit, my second Toyota purchase/finance.  I'm going to write them and tell them that if Sinclair airs that program, and Toyota doesn't object to it, then I'm pulling my loan and taking it elsewhere (my insurance company and bank will each give me the exact same rate, so no skin off my nose).  It's a brand-new 5-year loan, too.

          "Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa." (Casey Stengel)

          by cinnamondog on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:58:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice (none)
            That might get their attention, like I said when dealing with the car companies they normally have a bank and if you hit them in the pocket their ears will open up.
          •  I also (none)
            just bought a brand new Saturn Ion financed through GMAC.  GM's on the list and the fact that they're helping bankroll a place link Sinclair, even a little, tarnishes the pretty good impression I've had overall from GM.  

            I won't pull my loan, at least not in the short term, but this is my first new car purchase, I'm a young professional, and I have a lifetime of car buying ahead of me.  And, with a brand new law degree, I won't be buying cheap Ions forever.

            I might just tell them all this in a quick letter.

            Bush Business Plan: 1) Steal the Presidency, 2) ???, 3) PROFIT!

            by emjaycue on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 11:02:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  GEICO Insurance (none)
            I have written my letter to GEICO, and I suggest any who are in the same position do the same.  Include your policy number(s)!

            Insurance is not like fast food or pizza: car insurance equals something like $60-100/month, and not many of us eat that much KFC.

            And think of all the advertising that insurance companies like GEICO go through to get customers to switch.  A few thousand customers threatening to cancel their policy would make a MUCH bigger impact than switching where you buy your next lunch.

            Worst. President. Ever

            by TGos on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:02:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Stock letter (none)
      They clearly haven't got the fear of (the boycott) god in them yet.
      •  Maybe we should all pose as... (none)
        OneMillionDads and OneMillionMoms and start spamming their email addresses like they do when they try to boycot people lol. Just kidding.
      •  Sinclair (none)
        Off topic, but the Vote For Change Tour is wrapping up tonite, and you can watch the webcast right now at-

        http://www.vfcfinale.com/

      •  i bet it gets marked down though (none)
        It may be a stock letter, but I'd be willing to bet it gets marked down somewhere as "we got 500 emails today on this subject".  Companies don't like controversy: Sinclair's owner may want to stump for Bush, but Ford wants to sell cars, and this crusade does them no good.  They do have to worry about whether a public pulling of support will alienate pro-Bush car-buyers more than it will mollify pro-Kerry car-buyers, but you can bet they're pissed at Sinclair for putting them in this position, because they really don't want to be doing political advocacy either way.

        A Badnarik supporter who wears a Kerry/Edwards '04 hat when talking to people in swing states.

        by Delirium on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:17:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Adverts (none)
      Good job;  is there a link to that list so I can pass it on?  Is there a breakdown of the advertising per station or region?  I say this because targeting them on a local level, and getting information out with regards to local advertisers may be very affective.  These are the types of advertisers who can't afford to lose money and that will call the affiliates and complain.
    •  That's their standard form reply (none)
      But if we get enough volume in on them, the internal conversations might be very interesting indeed.

      A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are for. Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

      by boadicea on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:18:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  emails to analysts are working (4.00)
    Yesterday I dug up the names of wall street analysts who cover Sinclair's stock and posted them here

    This morning, alou73 reported he got a response from one of the analysts wanting more information about this.

    And now, this afternoon, someone posted on the Yahoo Finance message board that his brokerage analyst is concerned:

    I have seen references all over the internet to a boycott of Sinclair and all it's advertisers over a propoganda movie Sinclair is pressuring its affiliates to run. Is this true? Is this why the stock declined on an otherwise positive day? First of all, as an investor, I am concerned about any talk of a boycott whether I agree with it or not. But I also wonder about the wisdom of Sinclair trying to force its affiliates to preempt their normal primetime programming in order to show a movie of dubious quality and veracity. Cutting your normal lineup for a controversy that might scare advertisers doesn't sound like business sense to me. I talked with an analyst at my brokerage today and he said he'd gotten several emails on the subject and, if the accusations are true, he thinks Sinclair is being really stupid.

    Anyone know what's up?

    Give it another day or two and if the analysts are convinced this is a real and widespread effort, they will likely issue negative reports on the company. Then the cascade effect will kick in -- institutional investors bail, the price falls, short-sellers pile on and the ordinary investor floods Sinclair's investor relations office with angry phone calls.

    •  Blush... (4.00)
      That was me on Yahoo. I am an investor and I did consult an analyst at my brokerage and I represented his view accurately. So it is a real post and I am curious how it is affecting the stock. But it isn't independent of what is going on here.
      •  Stir up the scrutiny (none)
        My guess is that Smith and co are into some pretty Enron like behavior, they are proven republicans after all. This type of activity smacks of corrupt management. It is Tyco, Enron, Adelphia all over.

        Get that little meme into analysts heads, this sort of gamble with stockholder assets (FCC licenses) is not a good move. If Kerry wins then Sinclair are going to be frozen out.

    •  Question (none)
      Have been reading with interest those that know how these issues work -- with Sinclair stock and all.  Is it possible that a person who has a stock portfolio but usually does little or nothing to control individual stocks within that portfolio, to call the manager of my 401K and ask them if they have sinclair stock to sell it?

      I might just do that.

      •  Couldn't hurt (none)
        Depends on what kind of 401k you have. My retirement benefits go into four mutual funds I picked. If TIAA-CREF (my retirement fund company) was on the list of institutional investors, I would have emailed/called/written to the fund managers. However, some retirement accounts can be in annuities, bonds, etc. Others might be indexed (fixed to a certain index like NASDAQ or NYSE). Those would be less fruitful. BUT having said that, no matter what kind of account you have writing or calling the fund manager will help get word out and about regarding the boycott and increase the buzz. So by all means do it. They will either reassure you that you aren't invested in Sinclair or will say something like their number one concern is the value of the stock and not social issues. But if enough negative buzz is going around about a stock that alone can depress the value, which a fund manager has to take into account.
  •  Beautiful! (none)
    Give 'em hell where it hurts!
  •  Janus Funds, Say it Ain't So (none)
    Thought Janus was socially responsible. Guess not. I'll roll my funds over to Ariel and Parnassus tomorrow.

    We the undersigned urge you to support Federal funding for research using human pluripotent stem cells. -80 Nobel Laureates to Pres. Bush

    by easong on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:18:36 PM PDT

    •  keep it for a day or two (none)
      and TELL them you're going to roll it over - more leverage that way - they have no incentive to act if you're already gone.
    •  Janus (none)
      was really easy to email from the linked site and they had a check box for "investor".

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:10:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shit man.. (none)
      you shouldn't be in any kind of broad market funds at this point anyway. Maybe some sector specific stuff, but this is absolutely NOT a time to be holding index type funds, regardless of who is managing them. Look at the SP500 P/E, it's close to 20, we will see a long retreat until the aggregate P/E normlizes somewhere below 15 (likely 10 or so) before another long term bull ensues.
  •  Sending an email to Gabelli right now (none)
    I am a shareholder in their fund for my 401(k) plan.

    I reminded them of their fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders and asked hem to investigate potential breeches by the Sinclair Board.

    I also asked then to vote their proxies to replace the Board.

  •  long-term prospects (none)
    In keeping with my post upthread: is this a plausible scenario?

    Sinclair broadcasts a Kerry hit piece, forces affiliates to carry it.  Kerry wins anyway.  Kerry fires Michael Powell and puts a Dem in charge of the FCC.  At first opportunity FCC uses full statutory powers to punish Sinclair and affiliates.

    Seems like this might hurt the stock a bit...

    "But, Saddam was a THREAT!" That's our refrain. Ask us again, and we'll tell you the same!

    by turbonium on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:20:25 PM PDT

    •  Boycott long term (none)
      I hope so.  Howard Dean was so right when he said that he would break up the large media consortiums/monopolies.  Allowing for these monopolies of the media is what Clinton called his biggest mistake.

      Kerry can't come out on this, as he can't afford the wrath of the press at this time, but I hope he is watching closely.

      BTW. .  I'm sorry if has already been posted, but has anyone started a list of the biggest Sinclair advertisers per station.  it should be public record.  We need to make this long term--beyond the election

  •  CalPERS has over 200K shares (none)
    Not in the millions that are shown above, but a not insignificant number, either. And they are absolutely susceptible to pressure.

    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:21:45 PM PDT

    •  CalPERS (none)
      ...is the 600 lb gorilla.  It exerts incredible influence on corporations in which it invests.  Witness the Disney response to its displeasure with Eisner.  It was also a major player in the South African divestiture trend, albeit at the state legislature's insistence (probably the only way they could justify an otherwise unprofitable choice).
  •  you guys are my heroes (4.00)

    Everything your doing against Sinclair is noble and heroic.  The only way to hit them is financially and by challenging their liscenses.  

    This must be an extended and brutal campaign to oust these assclowns from any involvement in the public airwaves.  This is far worse than Fox News.  This violates everything America has worked so hard to achieve.

    Propaganda is what Stalin and Hitler used to subvert the will of the people. We can not and must not allow it to occur here.

    This is war, people.  If Bush wins, we're all in deep trouble.  Kerry must win this.

    The rumor I keep hearing on the internets is that Bush is going down.

    by WSmith on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:24:22 PM PDT

    •  Interesting item from yahoo (4.00)
      this may be of interest to some I found it on yahoo message board.
      Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)

      August 17, 1996, Saturday, SOONER EDITION

      David D. Smith, president and chief executive officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group, was arrested this week in his hometown of Baltimore and charged with a misdemeanor sex offense. Sinclair owns WPGH, the Fox affiliate in Pittsburgh, and programs most of WPTT.

      The Baltimore Sun reported that Smith, 45, was arrested Tuesday night in an undercover sting at a downtown corner frequented by prostitutes.

      •  old news - he doesn't care... (none)
        It has been all over the web for days... Hell he's probably proud of himself...

        So much for your GOP family values...

        •  SCREW THAT (none)
          I don't CARE if HE cares! I care what regular folks think when they find out what a piece of crap hypocrite this bastard is.

          NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

          by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:12:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  in combination (none)
          with an active campaign to boycott sinclair, it might have some impact on buy/hold/sell recommendations for the stock, if concern is correctly phrased to your stockbroker/analyst.

          i would also add the for the fundamentalist right, it might make a difference that the person trying to feed them negative information about a presidential candidate is himself a fornicator. (and i use the word deliberately, because of its biblical associations.)

      •  Speculation Only (none)
        I am not so sure that this is unimportant. I timing is too much. You expect me to believe that Rove can't get any investigation on this guy stopped. There is likely someone more important to Rove waiting in the wings at Sinclair that he can use to control Sinclair.

        When men build on false ground, the more they build, the greater the ruin.

        by Mosby on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:53:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  John Kerry on Sinclair (none)
    Do you think if Kerry does well in the debates on Wednesday, he would have enough weight to go to that panel during Sinclair's reporting and talk about it directly to the panel?

    Mikhail Khaimov San Francisco, CA

    by Tsarrio on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:27:16 PM PDT

    •  Sinclair is saying they will... (none)
      ...give him the opportunity to do so (thier idea of "Fair and balanced", assuming he'll refuse).  Of course, hostile audience++, but if he actually does it, and comes off respectfully, then he has more guts than even I think.  Heck, he might be able to turn it around into a free campaign ad, if he's brilliant.  However, the downside here is immense-he would have to be perfect for it to be a plus.
      •  The minus is that... (none)
        By responding by going on afterwards, he is giving his accusers credibility, which is exactly what they want.
      •  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE.... (4.00)
        Should he give any credibility to the movie...  The action by Sinclair...

        Why should he take them up on an invite to his own mugging and again Bush can stand idly by and ignore the whole thing while back slapping Karl Rove...  The RNC will find any one of a range of "out of context" talking points from his appearance that would then be attached to replayed segments from the movie...

        No way...  It should be denounced loudly but at a distance by the formal campaign...  This is a grass roots action...

      •  It would only be "fair and balanced" (none)
        ... if Kerry or his supporters were given an hour to themselves, really.
    •  No (none)
      I don't think Kerry has free time for such things a few days before the election -- there are much better things for him to be doing.

      Sinclair and the Swift Vets would completely control the format and the "discussion", so there's no reason to believe Kerry would even be able to get in a wird edgewise, much less be allowed to make his case. The offer to let Kerry respond is a joke, just an attempt to defuse the issue and fool some people into thinking they're being fair.

      •  I hope not (none)
        I hope he does not go on that program just so they can yell at him and he can spend the whole time on defense.  No thank you.

        but if this goes forward, as I am sure it will, the Vets for Kerry should do a 1/2 hour segment on some show who will rebut every single issue on there.  And talk about how it is citizen leaders that Kerry was upset about, both then and now.

        Kerry has better things to do but there does need to be a response.  But from Kerry vets and us.

    •  NO. (none)
      There is just no comparison between a pre-produced documentary and a live appearance, in terms of message control and potency. Kerry would have to be certifiable to appear on the wrong side of a Sinclair camera.
    •  He would be crazyt to go on there. (none)
      By going on the show he will legitimize that behavoiur.

      When men build on false ground, the more they build, the greater the ruin.

      by Mosby on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:55:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Janus has an online contact form (4.00)
    My letter to them:

    As a long term Janus investor, I urge you to  immediately limit exposure to Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which by ordering all its stations to run a political slander against Kerry just before the election has made it likely that it will in the near future lose its broadcast licenses, or at minimum sustain considerable legal fees in defending them, as a number of them are now being actively challenged based on this possibly illegal and certainly unethical act.

    Please confirm to me that you will be diligent on this one. Enron was too much. [Janus was heavily into Enron in most of its funds.] This time, the warning signal is clear and public. If you will not be getting out of Sinclair with all speed, I will have to seriously consider options other than remaining with Janus.

    Regards,

    •  Thank you (none)
      If each and every one of us takes one step to make our voices know, in every way possible, in every venue known, we will be heard.

      We need to take the tarnish of the word "patriot" that Bush has abuse the term.  I want my country back, and I want to be a patriot in an open society.

  •  an even better graph (4.00)
    here's Sinclair (blue) vs. the rest of the broadcasting & cable tv industry (red) on today's markets:

    ha ha ha.

  •  Say what you want... (none)
    Say what you want about victory, but a 20 cent slide on a stock in one day isn't something to get excited about.  Looking at the actual numbers, they had a 2.6% drop in stock value over a six hour period.  However, if it continues, and you get this boycott known, then you'll see more of a slide.  At this rate, however, it can be dismissed as a bad day.  In other words, let people know!
  •  Thanks (none)
    Appropriately emailed.
  •  I called the phone number thru link that Kos gave (none)
    Got a lady who cut me off after about 10 words and told me she'd add my name to the list!

    Go Kerry! You are so much more than an ABB! Who knew?

    by CalDoc on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:34:50 PM PDT

  •  Gallup Poll Off Topic... (none)
    I dont know if you guys have seen this:

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/11/poll.monday/index.html

    Gallup has now given Kerry a 49-48 lead.  Good news considering that Gallup almost never had Kerry ahead, even when he was running away with it in July and August.

    This poll isn't posted on gallup.com yet and there are no internals showing party breakdown yet.

    As far as the debates go:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/?ci=13549

    Independents thought Kerry did a better job in the second debate, 53-37 (47 vs 45 overall)

    Kerry has gained back the lead in the poll asking who would do better dealing with the economy, but has lost his gains dealing with Iraq and Terrorism in general.

  •  does anyone have a WSJ online account? (none)
    there's a new link under the company news headlines to a story called "Sinclair Comes Under Fire" but it's from the Wall Street Journal Online, and you need a username / password to access it.

    I'd like to see what the financial press is saying.  

    thanks in advance if anyone can share the key details.

  •  TIAA-CREF (none)
    Anyone know how many Sinclair shares, if any, are held in any of CREF's portfolios?  My guess is that more people who are likely to protest against Sinclair are CREF clients than clients of any other institution.
  •  I wrote Morgan Stanley (none)
    Thanks for the information & the link. I inherited a bit of Morgan Stanley stock from my father and have written the following to them:

    As a holder of --- shares of Morgan Stanley stock, I wish to express my extreme dismay that your (our) company is a major institutional investor in the Sinclair Broadcasting Network.
    The partisan activism of this "public service" media company is now beyond the pale. Sinclair's recent decision to preempt their regular programming in order to air a highly partisan attack against John Kerry immediately before the election opens that company to legal challenge and public censure. Sinclair's stock today plunged on the news of their actions.
    As a Morgan Stanley investor, I expect you to consider seriously whether Sinclair is the sort of company that we should be involved with.

  •  Fahrenheit 9/11 (1.66)
    What happens if Michael Moore gets Fahrenheit 9/11 on TV before the election?

    Are the Dems and dKos going to arrange a boycott of Moore and whatever network is showing the movie?

    Help defeat Oregon's anti-gay constitutional amendment: www.noon36.com

    by Doppy on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:42:54 PM PDT

    •  One person brought this up before... (4.00)
      And I see a fundamental difference between F9/11's plans and this one.

      Sinclair is pre-empting shows on "free" (broadcast) TV to show an anti-Kerry film, possibly duping people into watching it.

      IF (and this is an extrmemely large if), F9/11 gets on tv, It looks like it will be on pay-per-view, where only those people who wish to see it will see it.  I see a distinct difference between showing something on PPV and pre-empting regular programing so you try to convince some undecided voter who decided to change to channel to watch survivor and instead see Kerry getting Bashed.

      •  1234 (none)
        I agree if your conditions are met.  I just wonder what the response would be if Moore pulled off some big surprise and got the movie on a network.

        Of course, with all of this Sinclair uproar, I doubt any network would touch F 9/11 after seeing this.

        Help defeat Oregon's anti-gay constitutional amendment: www.noon36.com

        by Doppy on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:00:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No (none)
        I don't care if there's a difference or not.  The point is that if they are going to do this they are going to suffer the consequences.  If some station shows F9/11, they're certainly going to suffer similar boycotts from the freepers.  The question is just, who is more organized and who can run a better boycott.
      •  i think F9/11 will be on pay tv (none)
        precisely because the major networks wouldn't touch it. very possibly because of the problem with giving equal time to bush and cutting into their revenue stream from advertising. one could conclude their refusal was really to protect bush, but generally speaking i suspect protecting revenue comes first.

        this has actually been a problem in the past, when there have been questions about whether all the networks would, for example, carry presidential debates or whatever ballgame was being played at the same time. profit first, then politics. which means those making an argument that sinclair is acting against the best interests of its investors has merit in terms of the markets.

    •  It is already in the works but... (none)
      There is a major distinction...  Farenheit 9/11 is scheduled to run on a Pay Per View basis...  If you see it on TV then it is because you have chosen to view it and payed for the privilege...  (Besides there are no advertisers on Pay Per View)...  To have Sinclair choose to force it's view on millions of Customers over the Public Air waves by broadcasting this smear is despicable...
      The Hypcrisy in claiming that they are going to be showing this film as News value and forcing local stations to pre-empt standard programming just screams when you consider the organization claimed ABC News broadcasting a tribute to fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan should not be broadcast as being to "...Political" ???????

      This has just gone too far....

      •  PPV (none)
        Well, PPV is a whole different thing.

        I didn't realize that Moore was going the PPV route.  I doubt that's going to have any effect on the election.  It might help line his pockets some more, but that's about it.

        Help defeat Oregon's anti-gay constitutional amendment: www.noon36.com

        by Doppy on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:05:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  WOW!! (4.00)
    I just got an e-mail from one of the Wall Street analysts in regards to my warning on Sinclair, and he isn't aware of what's going on!!  He's asked for more information, and I'm about to educate him!!

    This is great!!  I'm going to refrain from naming him here, but folks, this proves there are people with power that need to be aware!!  Don't think your polite and factual e-mails are necessarily falling on deaf ears.  All it takes is a few to realize what's going on with Sinclair mismanagement to perhaps create a "backstory" of a company run amok.
    *

    One other point I'd like comment on.  I think the interesting thing about the impending boycott is that it's asymetrical.  That is, you have a national audience ready to put pressure on local (and in the case of some of Sinclair's crappy stations, largely insignificant) markets'  Most boycotts tend to be national-to-national or local-to-local.  I think we have a better chance convencing advertisers it's better not to spend a few hundred dollars on a second-tier Sinclair station in a small market--  seen by maybe a few thousand--  than risk a vast sum of money finding themselves on a national list.

  •  This is the Best Idea (none)
    I wrote to the Sinclair execs, my senators and representatives and signed the petition.  I also took some time out to write MSNBC and complained about the debate panels spinning for the rwns.

    The stockholders were a great idea, their stocks went down .12 in 24 hours, I've gotta believe it is because the wire picked the story up and bloggers ran with the ball.

    Amazing.

    You did good.

    I'll write the stockholders in the morning.

  •  FCC chairman's letter (none)
    Hi,
      I helpfully forwarded the FCC chairman's letter that's posted at Josh Marshall's side to the investment companies. :)
      Put the Asheville Sinclair station's advertisers into the chart.
      What other kind of fun can we have tonight?
  •  I know this is a different tack... (none)
    and I did email all of the analysts with info provided on these threads. (and am also curious about TIAA-CREF since they are with whom I have funds..)

    but if this doesn't work and Sinclair does end up broadcasting this...is there any utility in thinking about a major protest/sit-in at local stations that would generate enough noise that the major networks would have to at least cover on the nightly news that it was not just "programming as usual" for this movie?

    •  this happened in May (none)
      when Sinclair pre-empted broadcasts of the Nightline that showed the faces of fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afganistan. A dkos poster actually organized a protest at the Columbus, OH affiliate and it got local media coverage. I'm sure the competing stations in the market LOVE to give play to a story about their rival getting criticized.

      so to answer your question, yes, we will absolutely do that at the very least. And this time I think we have the DNC and at least 18 senators who will join us :)

    •  IOWA: Iowa City / Cedar Rapids (none)
      Members of Democracy for Iowa and other community members are planning to meet at the Java House in Iowa City at 7pm to plan strategy.  

      The local Sinclair affiliate is KGAN-TV out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

      It is an American value to care for each other.
      Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

      by Daemmern on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:04:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Michigan.. WSMH - FOX66 (none)
    http://www.wsmh.com/ is in FLINT, Michigan. It is the only Sinclair affiliate in the state of Michigan. Since Flint is also Michael Moore's hometown, I wonder if there is an angle there?
    I wonder if Mr. Moore has any clout with the media folks in Flint, MI, for example?

    If anyone out there could convince Mr. Moore to "risk being arrested" in MI (for offering clean underwear to slackers), maybe he could arrange to have a meeting with the management of FOX66 (WSMH)? Then they could explain to the rest of us why they really "aren't" hijacking democracy by doing this partisan ploy.

    That would be cool.

    NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

    by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:56:10 PM PDT

  •  I hate to say this but... (none)
    If I owned a big network of TV stations, I would be showing pro-Kerry documentaries all the time.  I don't have any shame about doing whatever is legal to win this election for Sen. Kerry.  No more mister nice Democrat.  We need to fight elections as bare-knuckled as they do.
    •  asdf (none)
      i would too--  if it was a private company on cable.  but when you choose to take your company public, and you are using the public airwaves, you have legal responsibilties that override using those resources to grind your personal axe.
      •  Exactly! This is a LEGAL issue (none)
        This is a LEGAL issue, pure and simple. Those are OUR airwaves that are being polluted. Couch it within a legal context. That'll scare the shit out of investors and analysts. Beacuse if there is one thing they fear, it is lawsuits....

        Go get 'em!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  •  I just posted a message to the Yahoo (3.50)
    Finance page for Sinclair stock.

    Informed people politely and calmly what was happening, and that they should get out or short before the stock gets more damage.

    Money is money.

  •  Organize a plan of action (none)
    organize a plan of actions people can do to combat this, in the form of an image, graph, or visual, and put it on a Tshirt.

    Rageaholics are unfit for command. Rage as an addiction

    by Lucian on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:10:51 PM PDT

  •  Union funds (none)
    I have contacted the AFL-CIO informing them of this matter, and suggesting they have their constituent unions review their pension funds to see if they have any Sinclair holdings.
    •  Sinclair (none)
      Teacher's retirement funds hold enormous amounts of stock.  Anyone know how to get through to them and inform them of the situation with Sinclair?
      •  Try the NEA website... (none)
        ...I'm pretty sure the teachers would be sympathetic to this, and they're big players in the retirement accounts.

        I mean - hell - half of the red state GOPs get elected by running against the NEA and Teachers' Unions.  I'm sure they're well tired of being fucked with.

        -Fe Wm.

    •  My note to the AFL-CIO Office of Investment (none)
      I hope I'm directing this to the right people.  If yours is the department concerned with pension fund management, then it is.

      As you may or may not be aware, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, a national media chain, has announced plans to preempt broadcasting on all its channels later this month to run a made-for-TV movie concerning Vietnam.  What has not been well-publicized until today is that this "movie" is little but a propogandistic "hit piece" aimed at damaging John Kerry's reputation.  This is not the first time this year that Sinclair has made a blatantly partisan programming decision.  Sinclair ordered its ABC affiliates to black out the Nightline program on which Ted Koppel recited the names of those who have given their lives in Iraq.  This is also in line with Sinclair's general right-wing political line as expressed in their syndicated editorial content, "The Point" with Mark Hyman, a nightly right-wing screed which all Sinclair stations are required to broadcast as part of their local news programming.

      I strongly urge AFL-CIO fund managers to review union pension fund holdings to see if shares in Sinclair are held, and to take appropriate action, either divestment or shareholder suits/proxy complaints, to counter the right-wing partisan political intervention of this media giant.

      Thank you,

      Larry ____

  •  Music to our ears (4.00)
    I found this on the Yahoo message board.

    * * * * *

    Cripes, I bought this dog at 9 and have done nothing but take a bath. Their crappy dividend doesn't make up for the loss. I'm as conservative as they come, and will be proudly voting for Bush, but a stoooopid management move like this? Sheeyt, this is my money we're talking about here.

    I'm out tomorrow. I don't need this crap from any company in which I invest my money. The SBGI dog don't hunt anymore. I'm buyin' Halliburton.

    * * * * *

    And here's my stock letter to the investment companies. Feel free to crib, but edit it a bit to make the effort seem more grass-roots.

    Dear X,

    As a small investor who keeps an eye on media trends, I strongly advise you to divest from Sinclair Broadcasting.

    As I'm sure you are aware, Sinclair has chosen to force their local affiliates to air a propaganda film against the candidacy of Senator John Kerry on the eve of the upcoming election.

    This is their right. However, it's also a remarkably poor business decision. As the growing ratings for liberal networks like Air America Radio have shown, as well as the large growth shown by organizations like MoveOn.org and Americans Coming Together, this action will not be forgotten by the half of the country that does not support George Bush.

    Sinclair is choosing to alienate a huge number of viewers for purely ideological reasons, and this is just not defensible from a business standpoint. And if John Kerry is elected, I suspect that the company will be targeted later by the FCC.

    Thank you for your time and consideration, and I hope that you can get out of your commitment to Sinclair as soon as possible.

    Sincerely,

    ()

    DMt

    •  Rule Number One: (none)
      Don't EVER believe what you read on a Yahoo! message board (unless the poster is well known TO YOU!)

      Rule Number Two: Use these boards to communicate your knowledge AT YOUR OWN RISK.

      "Never mind the trick, what the hell's the point?" Joseph Heller, Catch-22

      by wozzle on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:42:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are conceding a point you don't have to (none)
      You said "that is their right to broadcast this".  In fact, it is not their right.  It would be if they were a private corporation, but they are a public corporation and it is in every public corporate charter that management is obligated to act in their company's best interest.

      Management of a publicly traded company is specifically not allowed to act on private personal whims.

  •  Keep it going (none)
    And let me pitch one more time here for all of us to head to the database and shoot off a letter to Janus Funds. Let them know how you feel.

    If Sinclair gets heat from a major investor like Janus, they won't dig it!

  •  CNN is broadcasting on the issue now.... (none)
    ...
  •  doing my part (4.00)
    Today I sent this email to Janus:
    It has come to my attention that Sinclair Broadcasting has ordered its affiliates to carry a video titled "Stolen Honor" which slanders John Kerry just weeks before the election.  This is nothing more than a free hour long political attach ad for George Bush.  This is an assault on our democracy.  I understand Janus Capitol Group holds Sinclair stock in at least two of its funds.  If this slanderous program is aired on any Sinclair affiliates between now and the election, I will call you the next day and check to see if you still hold Sinclair stock.  If you do, I will withdraw all of my funds from Janus.  It's not much, only $34,000.  But I suspect in the days after the airing, you will find many others feel the same as I do.  And if you loose 100,000 like me, you've just lost 3.4 billion dollars.
  •  Flint's Sinclair station runs online poll! (none)
    Quick, everybody go vote in it:
    http://www.wsmh66.com/flint_mi/
    Right now "no" leads 74-26.
    Write 'em email too, of course.
    •  That is (none)
      a national poll actually
      every affiliate has it

      "The identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Bush v. Gore

      by DeanorBust on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:52:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It may well be. (none)
      That all Sinclair companies are hosted at a central location, and that they have blocked any requests coming from a link originating at dailykos.  I just tried to get to both this link and the one below, and neither worked.   Cutting and pasting the link itself worked fine.  Just FYI.
  •  Please hit these folks hard... (none)
    http://www.wsyx6.com/
    Columbus, Ohio affilaite

    But be polite

    "The identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Bush v. Gore

    by DeanorBust on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:50:15 PM PDT

  •  why not target those who hold sinclair's loans? (none)
    Targeting thier investors is good, but can we dig up who they owe money to?  Any chance someone can pore through the financial reports of sinclair, find out who their financiers are, and then hit them hard, maybe call in the loans?  This is where Mr. Soros would really come in handy, buy the loans from the bank and call them in or shut them down.

    This shall not pass.
    Victor

  •  Neuberger Berman's Socially-Responsive Group (4.00)
    Dear Neuberger Berman,

    I am pleased to see that your website indicates you are involved in socially responsive investing.

    Therefore, I am requesting that you take action against Sinclair Broadcasting Group, of which I understand your firm owns some 2,266,809 shares.

    Sinclair Broadcasting has taken advantage of its ownership of 25% of television stations nationwide, to order its affiliate stations to air an anti-John Kerry "attackumentary" propaganda film prior to the election, whether or not those affiliates wish to do so.

    This is not the first instance in which the owners of Sinclair have mandated their journalists & broadcast stations to air right-wing Republican propaganda.  It acted to suppress a report by Ted Koppel of ABC news regarding Iraq casualties.  It also forces affiliates to air a nightly ultra-conservative commentary, "The Point," delivered by its corporate executive, Mark Hyman.

    I believe in fair-and-balanced media.  I do not want the mainstream media turned into a Republican noise machine.  It is bad for democracy and for our citizens.  It is wrong for the owner of a media monopoly to coerce its employees to participate in mass deception of the public.  

    This action by Sinclair represents an under-the-table in-kind contribution to the Bush administration and is an attempt to abuse the FCC and the FEC regulations regarding political campaigns.

    I am prepared to boycott companies who advertise on Sinclair affiliates.

    Please inform your company management that I cannot support the activities of your firm, which is a major shareholder in Sinclair, if you do not act to prevent this abuse of the American media.  A network of citizens across the country is preparing to take action against Sinclair if corrective action is not taken by its major shareholders.  If necessary, we will feel forced to depress the value of your Sinclair stock holdings, in order to try to reclaim the media for the benefit of the average person and the common good.  

    We Americans deserve fair, responsive and accountable broadcast media -- and so do you.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Dawn M. Mueller

    It is an American value to care for each other.
    Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

    by Daemmern on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:58:07 PM PDT

  •  When are these idiots gonna learn (none)
    that the liberals aren't fucking around this year?
  •  how 'bout DoS attack?? (1.20)
    Anyone have any thoughts on a denial of service attack on some of the advertisers  or other groubs associated w/ sinclair??  It might be a good option as a last resort, or it could backfire. . .
    •  Thats illegal (4.00)
      And not just illegal, its stupid!

      If you are going to hack you don't hack through a DOS attack, you hack through employees who actually work for Sinclair.

      I'm guessing you don't know how true hacking works, and I don't think hacking would accomplish anything in this situation. It's stupid to take it to that level, wait a week and see if advertisers pull out.

      Rageaholics are unfit for command. Rage as an addiction

      by Lucian on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:25:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  point noted (none)
        actually it's not hacking, but civil disobedience.  I just did an extensive paper on this subject (well internet activism from PACs to hacking).  I would not start the DoS until what we are doing becomes pointless.  I hope it would never come to that but in all honestly I was just offering an idea, it has worked in the past (virtual sit-in for Visques and at Havard's fight for living wages by the PSLM).  But I appreciate your response, I hope you are correct about the advertisers pulling out, I know I'm emailing updates on this frequently.  
    •  No!! (none)
      This is illegal, immoral and destructive to anything we want to accomplish.  Please do not do this.
    •  Are you NUTS (none)
      You are coming on this site and recommending ILLEGAL actions against this company? WTF is wrong with you? I can only conclude you are either a sincere but immature person or a troll. Keep your hacker crap to yourself.

      NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

      by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 11:19:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK, but it is NOT illegal (none)
        DoS is just a lot of people accessing/emailing the site at once to cause it to crash,  There is no hacking involved, I don't even, nor do I want to know how to hack.  The desired effect of a DoS protest is to slow the website down much like DailyKos slows during times of high traffic.  

        However, everyone is right.  It would be silly to focus this much effort over a movie(which the FCC said today that it would violate the first amendment to prohibit it).

        I'm sorry that I angered all those out there that don't know the actual meaning of a cyber-protest.

        Sheeesh!

        When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will have freedom.

        by hfiend on Thu Oct 14, 2004 at 03:56:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  First off, a cyber protest is not a DoS (none)
          A denial of service attack is an automated attack by a single computer that sends multiple requests without accepting responses. The server times out and all of it's ports get tied up. A distributed DoS is when multiple (typically hacked and remote controlled) computers do the same thing.

          Don't try to hide behind some sort of "I am more computer literate than you" defense. I am probably one of the earliest victims of DoS when I was starting up the www.kansascity.com website back in the nineties. We didn't even call it DoS back then.

          NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

          by wunderwood on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 03:11:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well... (none)
            Well, I ment an attack on the sevver that would be done by the masses not by a few, one that would probably make no impact these days.  Anyway, It was a bad idea in the first place and I/we should be focusing on Nov.  

            I'm actualy taking a break from calling states west of SC in support of K/E '04.  Getting good responses also. . .

            Good luck with the run-up to Nov.

            When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will have freedom.

            by hfiend on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 05:44:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are right (none)
              Have to stay focused. I am trying to spread word about Sinclair (or Spinclair, as I like to call them). It looks like they are deadset on riding this thing over the cliff, so the next battle there will be to make sure they are punished for their irresponsible behavior to at least prevent any other broadcast companies from sabotaging the system.

              NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

              by wunderwood on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 10:13:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  here at... (none)
                here at the CofC we are going to show Going Upriver or someother "counter-measure" on or around this latest smear campaign (by spinclair).  

                Any ideas?  Outfoxed has already been screened. . .

                When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will have freedom.

                by hfiend on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 12:06:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Going Upriver is great (none)
                  That's probably the best countermeasure.

                  IMHO, Kerry has been amazingly consistent in his approach to war and diplomacy. As far as I can tell, he seems to view war as a necessary evil to be used as a last result.

                  I guess one other thing that I REALLY want the American voter to have drilled into their brains is this:

                  Kerry laid out specifically WHY he was supporting the president's OPTION to commit troops to Iraq. He said he would be the first condem the president if he failed to live up to the requrements set forth by Kerry when he voted for giving the president the option of sending in the troops, and IIRC Kerry condemmed the start of the war the day it happened.

                  Kerry laid out specifically WHY he "voted for it then voted against it" (the 87B). He wanted to pay for it with a shared sacrifice on suburban America. When that failed, he said let's not give the money to Halliburton. BTW, how much of that has not been spent yet?

                  NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

                  by wunderwood on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 05:56:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  We need an official progressive mutual fund (none)
    The solution perhaps is to start a progressive mutual fund, do any currently exist? How would they be started?

    Progressives have to be united financially in certain situations so the idea does make sense.

    Rageaholics are unfit for command. Rage as an addiction

    by Lucian on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:24:31 PM PDT

    •  There are some (none)
      They tend not to do too well, though there are exceptions. There are the companies I know:

      Parnassus: I made a bunch through them (better than the market) during the Clinton years, but now they have been lagging behind the market. I like them though. Their semi-annual reports read like a personal letter from a friend.

      Pax World Fund: I know little about them

      Calvert: I used to invest through them but wasn't satisfied with their performance. But that was awhile ago.

      I know there are more but can't think of them off the top of my head.

  •  What will really hurt Sinclair (4.00)

    I work in the local tv market of Raleigh, where some of this license challenging stuff is going on.  I have good friends who work at one of the local Sinclair affiliates.  Let me tell you, they're NOT afraid in the least of the license challenges that Steve Soto has proposed.  I mean, what's the point?  If they air it, then fine, challenge away, I'm all for taking revenge on them.  But the goal should be to shut down the broadcast before it happens.

    What they're deathly afraid of is the stink of this thing will somehow waft over to their advertisers.  That's of course why they're not selling local ad time for this show.   Having worked in the ad department of Sinclair's competitor, I know that local Sinclair stations make over 60%  of their ad revenue from their nightly 6pm newscast.  That's their bread and butter.  You make a concerted effort to go after their top advertisers on the 5pm/6pm news hour and you'll have the executives spiking this show so fast it'll be amazing.

    •  Good to know (none)
      Sounds like a fruitful angle on the local advertisers.

      A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are for. Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

      by boadicea on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 11:46:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  PLEASE write a diary about this (none)
      This is important information and I formally request you write a diary on it.

      Title it something specific and attention-grabbing like: "TV insider says: Boycott Sinclair's NEWSCAST advertisers". Whatever you title it, you need to make clear that you have new and highly relevant information specifically about the newscast advertisers.

      Any more information you have about who those specific advertisers are would probably be super-appreciated.

      A word after a word after a word is power. -- Margaret Atwood

      by tmo on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:52:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A diary entry??? (none)

        Sorry,

        This is my first post on Kos.  I don't even know what a diary entry is.  What does that do?  How do I do it.... Oh wait, I see the button, "Diary Entry".  Ok, got it... I think.

        Robert

    •  do you know how the affiliate thing works? (none)
      Can a local station opt out and distance themselves from this, or would they have to completely sever their Sinclair ties to do so?  Basically, to what extent can Sinclair control what its affiliates air?

      A Badnarik supporter who wears a Kerry/Edwards '04 hat when talking to people in swing states.

      by Delirium on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:21:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And for the guys who just want to make some money. (none)
    Make sure they know that Sinclair is the 3rd worst performer in its industry for the past 12 months.

    Laggards in Price Performance (1 yr)

    1.Young Broadcasting Inc [YBTVA]  -47.53%

    2. Cox Radio Inc [CXR]  -34.54%

    3. Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc [SBGI]  -32.43%

    1. Citadel Broadcasting Corp [CDL]  -31.95%  

    2. Entercom Communications Corp [ETM]  -30.75%  

    3. Cumulus Media Inc [CMLS]  -26.00%  

    4. ACME Communications Inc [ACME]  -25.03%  

    8. Clear Channel Communications Inc [CCU]  -24.40%

    1. TiVo Inc [TIVO]  -24.20%  

    2. Echostar Communications Corp [DISH]  -20.41%  

    The American investor desires, no,
    deserves the best available return on capital.

    It's up to us to make sure that they don't waste their time on Sinclair Broadcasting.

    That goes double for persons in positions of fiduciary trust; they owe it to their clients to get them their ROC.

    Sinclair Broadcasting just isn't cutting the mustard these days.

    We need to do our patriotic duty. :)

    Oklaphobia - fear of coming too soon.

    by cskendrick on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:26:14 PM PDT

  •  janus..don't be two faced (none)
    and here is my letter to janus:

    I have a small 401k in which 20% is vested in your janus cap apprec portfolio. If you are aware of the Sinclair Broadcasting controversy over the showing of a political propaganda hit piece days before a national election, then you understand why i writing to you. I would advise you to drop Sinclair from your fund before the airing of this "made for tv" propoganda. If not, i will be rolling this over into another fund which does not support companies who may be illegally breaking FCC and FEC rules in a general election, and who are definitely acting against the interests of american values. I will be joining the boycott of Sinclair advertisers, along with millions of other American citizens, and like them, will no longer be watching or listening to any of their stations.

    sincerely

    what do you say to the last republican who votes kerry instead of bush so as not to make another mistake

    by demnomore on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:27:16 PM PDT

  •  Here are some progressive mutual funds (none)
    For anyone who wants to invest in the movement.
    http://www.progressive-asset.com/index.html

    http://www.socialfunds.com/

    Everyone who has the money and who wants to invest in the right markets, check out the site.

    Rageaholics are unfit for command. Rage as an addiction

    by Lucian on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 10:31:15 PM PDT

  •  I love democracy (none)
    And I LOVE LOVE LOVE capitalism.
  •  Is it just me? (none)
    I can't get to the www.sbgi.net web site anymore
    and I can't get to the web sites of my two local Sinclair owned stations. What's going on? Kewl.
    •  Not a good idea. (none)
      I did just notice the posts below about a DOS attack not being a good idea. If this is what's going on, I agree - it's only going to make them more determined.
    •  I can't either and it worries me (none)
    •  I can't get onto any of them. (none)
      n/t
    •  I can't get on their site either (none)
      I was on there earlier. I wonder if someone did go after them. If they did, it will be twisted back to bite the Kerry campaign. Damn it! Let's try not to knock HOLES in the boat here, folks! If someone reading this is doing a DoS attack, STOP IT. Spinclair needs to be stopped with legal means.

      NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

      by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 11:53:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Website is back up with statement (none)
      "We welcome your comments regarding the upcoming special news event featuring the topic of Americans held as prisoners of war in Vietnam. The program has not been videotaped and the exact format of this unscripted event has not been finalized. Characterizations regarding the content are premature and are based on ill-informed sources.

      Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has been invited to participate. You can urge him to appear by calling his Washington, D.C. campaign headquarters at
      (202) 712-3000.

      if you would like to make further comments on this matter, you may do so at:
      comments@sbgi.net"
      The above is from Sinclair's website which is back up and running. Are they backing down?

      •  I doubt (none)
        they are backing down. They probably got inundated. I think they took the website(s) down themselves to figure out what to do next.  When they composed that response, they put the websites back up again.  If they had been hacked, you can be sure it would have been all over the website and their local news broadcasts.
      •  Email sent to comments@sbgi.net (none)
        Subject: Not fooled by your lies

        DROP YOUR PLANS to smear Senator John Kerry. We RESENT your unpatriotic attack on a decorated veteran. Your CEO was arrested for "committing a perverted sex act in a company-owned Mercedes" (according to a story in the Baltimore Sun).

        You are not fooling anyone with your fig leaf of supposed "balance". You are trying to pervert the truth with this biased attack on Kerry.

        If you want to be impartial, you should broadcast balanced news, not partisan slander. Will you interview Senator John McCain? He was a P.O.W. unless I miss my guess. He is also a friend of John Kerry. Why IS that? Broadcast "Going Upriver" instead if you want to show the truth about Vietnam.

        Will you give equal time to groups like Texans For Truth? They want to set the record straight on how our appointed president used his family connections to avoid Vietnam. We know he did. You can't hide that truth.

        What is wrong with you? You read these words and continue to work for this evil company? Why don't you do the right thing and FIND ANOTHER JOB?

        NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

        by wunderwood on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 01:30:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Senators and FCC and Stockholders! Oh MY! (none)
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20041011/D85LDJ680.html

    "The Democratic Party and 18 senators are objecting to a broadcasting company's plan to air on 62 TV stations a critical documentary about John Kerry's anti-war activities after he returned home from Vietnam three decades ago."

    OUCH!!

    NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

    by wunderwood on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 11:16:28 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like they're backing off (none)
    Sinclair guy on Aaron Brown says (paraphrasing) "All we've done is reserve the time on our stations, we haven't decided what exactly we'll decide to run....maybe a part of it, a brief, or the whole thing." AB called him on it, and the PR guy said that stories up to now have gotten it wrong - there's no definitive plan to run the whole program....
  •  Former Sinclair Employee - First Post (4.00)
    I've been perusing this blog for a month or so, but this is my first post.  Forgive me in advance if I ramble a bit.  When I saw last night that you were organizing against Sinclair, I joined up immediately and then counted the 24 hours until I could post!

    As a former employee, let me tell you that this uproar is long overdue.  I left my otherwise good job with one of their stations largely due to the fact that I could no longer reconcile myself with working for a company dominated by such extremist ideology.  First they yanked Politically Incorrect after that whole misguided fiasco about Bill Maher's widely misinterpreted comments about 9/11.  Then they began forcing all of their stations to run extremist right wing commentary in the nightly news.  Then they prohibited their ABC affiliates from airing Nightline's "The Fallen".  Now this.  

    But have you heard of "centralcasting"?  See:
    http://www.alternet.org/story/15718
    It'll send a shiver up your spine, I tell ya.

    I'll be posting more soon, including advertisers who have buys at WEAR, the ABC affiliate I worked for in Pensacola, FL.  It should be noted that this station is not a ratings dog in its market like the bulk of Sinclair's (WB) stations.  It's #1 and it's in a battleground state.

    I'll leave you with this, for now.  The station I worked for hosts a live (no delay) call in show every night @ 10:35 pm central.  What say we change the topic tonight and every other night to this whole bruhaha?  Just call up pretending to want to discuss the night's topic and then change your tune when you get on air.  But be kind to the host, Bob Solarski.  Definitely not the enemy here.  These stations hate having to do SINclair's bidding.  So please POLITELY change the subject to Sinclair!

    WEAR ABC 3 "Extra"  
    10:35 pm central
    1-850-457-3300

    I'd link you to their website, but Sinclair and most of its stations' websites are inexplicably down at the moment!

  •  Devalue Sinclair's Stock, Write an Analyst (none)
    I read an article by a stock analyst yesterday who said that Sinclair's stock is going to tank because its putting its politics ahead of its investors.  Let's reduce the amount of money the Sinclair Group has to play politics with:  write the investment analysts who follow their stock, tell them the company is using its assets for personal partisan purposes, giving illegal contributions to the Bush campaign, and trying to subvert American democracy.

    You might also inform them of the following:

     Title: Sinclair Broadcasting's David Smith Busted In Prostitution Sting
    Author: reposted
    Date: 2004.05.01 01:18
    Description: [THIS IS THE GUY WHO BANNED THE 'NIGHTLINE' BROADCAST OF K.I.A. SOLDIERS IN 8 CITIES LAST NIGHT, AND WROTE A LETTER DEFENDING HIS DECISION TO SEN. JOHN MCCAIN.] David Deniston Smith, president and chief executive officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., was charged with committing an unnatural and perverted sex act in a company-owned Mercedes. He was arrested in an undercover sting a Read and St. Paul streets, a downtown corner frequented by prostitutes. Police said Mary DiPaulo, 31, ran across the street to a 1992 Mercedes, registered to Sinclair, and got in on the passenger side. Police followed the car onto the Jones Falls Expressway, where they said they witnessed the two engage in oral sex while Smith drove north. [there are many reference sub-links in these collected sources, see original link: http://atrios.blogspot.com/2004_04_25_atrios_archive.html#10833535140459357

    Sinclair's website, www.sbig.net, has a link to the names of the investment companies that follow their stock.  A flurry of e-mails to stock analysts might be just the ticket to cool their right wing ardor.

  •  WSJ artcle (none)
    Sinclair Draws Partisan Scrutiny
    With Plans for Kerry Broadcast

    By JOE FLINT
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    October 12, 2004

    Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.'s aggressive stance on the war in Iraq and against Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry has made the company, which quietly has become an empire of 62 television stations, a lightning rod in the debate over media consolidation and the public interest.
    Sinclair, which earlier this year ordered its seven affiliates of Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network not to carry a broadcast of "Nightline" in which Ted Koppel read the names of military personnel who had died in Iraq, drew more controversy Friday when it said it would run a documentary on Mr. Kerry's antiwar testimony on its television stations.

    The documentary, titled "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," deals with the effect that Mr. Kerry's 1971 antiwar testimony had on prisoners of war. Sinclair has said its stations will run the documentary sometime in the next two weeks. Sinclair has stations in several states considered battlegrounds in the presidential race, such as Florida, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
    A call to Mark Hyman, a Sinclair vice president who also appears on its stations reading editorials, wasn't returned. Sinclair's main phone line was answered with a recording saying of "Stolen Honor" that "characterizations regarding the content are premature and being promoted by groups pushing a political agenda."

    In a year when television coverage of the presidential campaign has become a significant election sideshow, from "60 Minutes" to Fox News, Sinclair's decision to run the documentary was met with outrage by the Kerry campaign as well as media watchdogs and a Federal Communications Commission official.

    "President Bush's allies are kicking into overdrive," said Chad Clanton, a spokesman for the Kerry campaign. The Democratic National Committee also is planning to complain to the Federal Election Commission about the broadcast and almost 20 Democratic senators sent letters to the FCC complaining about Sinclair's actions. Sinclair and its executives have a long history of making donations to the Republican Party and President Bush. A spokeswoman for the Bush campaign, contacted last night, declined to comment.
    Michael Copps, a Democratic FCC commissioner, also blasted Sinclair, saying, "This is an abuse of the public trust, and it is proof positive of media consolidation run amok." Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt also criticized the broadcaster. In a letter to Sinclair, he wrote, "How can it be part of a broadcaster's public-interest obligation to aspire to alter the perceptions of the audience about a presidential candidate by showing biased content that in no way reflects either breaking news or even-handed treatment of the issues?"

    Sinclair has grown from two television stations to more than 60 over the past 15 years, thanks to deal making and a deregulatory environment.
    Sinclair President and Chief Executive David Smith has become known as a renegade in the industry. The company often has clashed with the networks whose programming it carries, including News Corp.'s Fox and Viacom Inc.'s CBS. It also has a measure of leverage when it comes to dealing with program suppliers, because in many big cities, such as Baltimore and Pittsburgh, it controls two television stations.

    More recently, Sinclair has drawn attention for its centralized approach to television news. Much of the news that its stations carry across the country is produced in its Hunt Valley, Md., headquarters and fed via satellite to the stations. While it is an effective way to lower costs, industry watchdogs counter that it also means fewer local voices in markets where Sinclair has stations.

    •  CNN just picked this up from WSJ (none)
      It's in the Money section... Headline something like "DNC files FEC complaint against Sinclair..."

      Read it to dh--who was dumbfounded. It sounded like someone from Kos had written it, just about.

    •  good placement (none)
      this is above the fold on page B13 of today's print edition.

      I love the inclusion of the quote from a current FCC commissioner highlighting THIS as an example of why media consolidation is bad.

      Media consolidation is the Sinclair Broadcasting business model.

      That's why they so desperately need Bush to be re-elected. So when a member of the very regulatory body that will allow or deny your business model to flourish gets pissed off and uses you as an example, that kinda tends to scare away investors. Especially investors who know a close election could result in different leadership at the FCC.

  •  Wonder If There is a RICO Angle? (none)
    Could 62 stations all conspiring to break campaign laws be pursued under RICO?  Don't know whether this is plausible, but if it is, it would be nice to spread the word that Sinclair might be in serious trouble after a Kerry victory.
  •  Propaganda and Accountability (none)
    To the CEO and Board of Directors of Sinclair Broadcasting,

    As a citizen of the United States of America I am appalled at your recent announcement to try and subvert the coming elections. It is a criminal action and we the people will hold you accountable. I am sure you are already beginning to see the effects. I can assure you that this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    If you wish to editorialize by all means do so. If you wish to use your own airtime to state your corporate or individual views, again, by all means do so. Simply follow the rules of ethics and be honest and clear that opinion is what you are engaging in. What you are engaging in with the timing of your showing of the movie, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," is dishonest to say the least and an attempt to subvert the electoral process at the most.

    I hope you will take a moment to reconsider your actions.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew C. White
    Democracy for New York Coordinating Councilman

    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:50:14 AM PDT

  •  After-hours trading (none)
    As of this moment, it's trading up at .02/share.
  •  Off subject slightly but check out c-span right no (none)
    Author of Tour of Duty on right now. Giving the true account of Kerry. This is great stuff.
    •  Tour of Duty. (none)
      Author is Douglas Brinkley. He is a teacher in New Orleans, and works with doing true historical accounts of military actions. Eisonhower ? group. One of his works was on D-Day.

      He gives a great account of Kerry and what really happened and why Kerry comes back and protests the war.

      Repubs can't stand thinking people anymore. Dems we got to keep up the fight and make the Progressive movement the labor movement of the future.

      Go dkos.

      Great job on going after Sinclair, hopefully somewhere like GW, they will get their day in court.

  •  Hmmmm (none)
    This looks interesting.
  •  Mugshot (none)
    Can anyone find David D. Smith's arrest mugshot?
  •  This will hurt big-time (none)
    Somebody on Josh Marshall's web site suggested that Sinclair's TV stations make up to 60% of their profits from their local news programming, especially the 5-6pm slot.  

    So raising hell with the advertisers that run in that 5-6pm slot makes good sense.  Especially the local businesses...they HATE controversy of any kind, and have their sales rep's phone number on speed dial.  Trust me, they will be on the phone in a heartbeat if they get even one letter of complaint.

  •  GEICO policyholder letter, please comment/steal! (none)

    Dear Sir,

    I've been a Geico policyholder since 1999 and have received nothing but excellent customer service since then.  However, I would like to call your attention to a matter that, if it is not given your attention, will cause me to cancel my policy and sign up with a Geico competitor.

    The Sinclair Broadcasting Group is a conglomerate of 62 local television stations, on which Geico is known to air TV advertisements.  The group has recently announced that it will pre-empt its regular programming 72 hours before the upcoming presidential election to run the short film "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal."[1] This film is a piece of far-right propaganda intended to mislead voters about Senator John Kerry's actions during the Vietnam War and his suitability as a candidate for President.  The film simply has no place in a reasoned discussion of who is best suited to lead the nation.

    Regardless of one's personal view about the Vietnam War or of Senator Kerry, it is simply wrong for local networks to be ordered to air this deceptive film so close to the election.  It's a terrible disservice to the viewing public, and even to Geico as an advertiser, to allow such partisan libel to be described as an objective news story, and to give Kerry's supporters no credible opportunity to respond.  Furthermore, expect the showing of this film to set off a legal firestorm.  The showing of the film may violate FCC and FEC regulations.[2]  Furthermore, since the film's producer, Carlton Sherwood, has received contracts from the Department of Homeland Security -- for which he has apparently been paid but not completed the work agreed -- you should expect there to be a controversy over whether the film was in effect secretly financed by partisan agents within the federal government using taxpayer funds.[3]

    I encourage you to consider whether you want Geico's good name to be associated with this nasty attempt at subverting democracy.  I'm sure you'll come to the conclusion that Geico must use its influence as an advertiser to force Sinclair to abandon its plan.  Please reply with the specific steps you intend to carry out to avoid being complicit in this affair.  Needless to say: if Geico advertisements are still running on the networks at the time of this film's airing, I will need to regretfully cancel my policy and ask my friends and family to do the same.

    Sincerely,
    Joseph Bruce

    [1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1325120,00.html

     [2] http://mediamatters.org/static/pdf/feinstein_sinclair.pdf

    [3] http://www.insiderpa.com/archive/insider6-2003.htm  -- search the long document for "Sherwood."   The incomplete work in question is for the DHS website www.firstresponder.gov, which as you will notice does not exist yet.


  •  Sinclair was on the ropes long before this (none)
    Sinclair Broadcast Group is that last entity that should be taking on political causes; they've plenty on their plate with business fundamentals as matters stand.

    Here is a list I compiled earlier

    1. In Baltimore, Sinclair is concerned about the possibility of losing permission to own multiple local stations in same market.

    2. The company expressed an expectation of possible breakdown in its expansion-generated revenue stream, meaning insufficient cash to run the business, in its 2003 annual report. They were telegraphing their concerns to the shareholders almost a year ago.

    3. On that topic, there have been only two insider trading events since April 2004. No one in the know is buying the stock on their own account.

    4. Despite a round of analyst upgrades a year ago, Sinclair just received a downgrade from Wachovia Securities. Were I there, I would have cited what Sinclair cites about itself: a high level of debt (1.732 BN) compared to book value shareholder equity of 229MM.

    5. Why are the analysts worried? Sinclair isn't expanding, therefore it's expansion-driven revenue isn't growing. In fact, the network is losing licenses and contracts; the termination of two NBC affiliations ($24.4MM net book of business) and the lapse of three ABC contracts, terminations pending (book value unknown). Compare this to the debt-to-equity values above, and you get the picture -- this is not a business that needs to draw attention to itself, save as a good and improving business.

    6. Coming up: Significant increase in film and other liabilities for year 2005...not too good when your revenue isn't growing. Film liabilities alone are increasing over four-fold.

    7. Per Sinclair's comment, the new FCC limitations cause significant impairment of Sinclair's expansion plans.

    8. Further, the "Nightline" censorship stunt may have consequences; ABC can yank three stations at any time from Sinclair.

    9. So it is probably not a good moment to test ABC's patience.

    10. The "Nightline" stunt may have burned bridges with Republicans in Washington, as well. There may be no markers for Sinclair to call on its behalf.

    11. Which leaves appealing to the conservative multitude for shows of viewer support and investor confidence.

    12. The only problem is that conservatives tend toward the unsympathetic side when it comes to failure, and Sinclair Broadcast has not been a model for success this past year.

    13. My estimate: this company was 60% likely to be de-listed by 1Q 2005 before the announcement to openly go into the propaganda business. That may now happen much sooner.

    Price estimates (these do not take today's brouhaha into account at all):

    Date Price StdDev
    10/12/04      7.10 0.37
    10/15/04      7.05 0.41
    10/20/04      6.96 0.48
    10/25/04      6.87 0.55
    10/31/04      6.76 0.64
    11/30/04      6.21 1.17
    12/31/04      5.62 1.88
    01/31/05      5.07 2.41
    02/28/05      4.73 2.93
    03/31/05      4.49 2.64

    I would treat this schedule as a benchmark for gauging the success of Get Out the Pain efforts vis a vis Sinclair Broadcast Group -- This is where they were going long before they got our attention.

    Again, there are companies that could put up a tough fight, that could make money and play politics at the same time and do both well.

    However, Sinclair Broadcast Group is not one of them. Not alone, anyway.

    Oklaphobia - fear of coming too soon.

    by cskendrick on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 01:09:11 AM PDT

  •  what do we know about this "documentary" (none)
    It's got a title, but apparently it hasn't been produced yet.  I read that it was being funded by Pennsylvania veterans.  Who are these vets? More swift boat liars, or different liars?  
    Does anyone know what gives on this?
    •  Cordier is in it (none)
      thats the guy who had to resign from the bush campaign after appearing in a swift boat ad.

      and some "reporter" from the washington times is the guy who made it. His other film credits include some puff piece about how badly washtimes owner Sun Yung Moon was treated by the government.

      It's just...it's surreal.

  •  diary pointer? (none)
    i emailed the analysts yesterday, but from reading the comments posted here it sounds like there's a boycott letter, FCC chairmen letter, stock data, advertiser data, and so on.  plus i'd be interested in to see any other media reports besides the LA times one.  is there new diary that summarizes all this stuff?

    Renewable Energy: Choose Your Power or Green Tags

    by drh on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 01:47:32 AM PDT

  •  Former Sinclair Employee (none)
    I just entered roughly 20 local advertisers into the database for the Pensacola Market.  The automotive groups alone represent millions of dollars a year in ad revenue for WEAR ABC 3. As I mentioned above, this station is a #1 station located in a battleground state.  We need to hit this one hard.

    I recommend starting with the Sandy Sansing automotive group.  Hit all of the phone numbers (they own about a half a dozen dealerships).  Ask for their PR person.  They're highly vulnerable to a boycott.  Then hit the rest of the Automotives, then everyone else.  All of these businesses buy high dollar time in the evening newscasts.

    WEAR is one of SINclair's highest-earning stations.  A blow to them is a major blow to Sinclair's financial resources.

  •  The forgotten ones (none)
    Don't forget to contact CNBC, Bloomberg, CNNfn and other financial related medias.  If we can get 1 or 2 of the reporters from there to start questioning this, the ENTIRE investment community will wake up.  Any ideas anyone????
  •  Pope Shot joke on Spinclair site? (none)
    This link on the Yahoo Finance message board http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?.mm=FN&action=m&board=7083976&tid=sbgi&sid=708 3976&mid=1908 led me to this page on the Spinclair site
    http://www.sbgi.net//news/graphicthanks.htm where there is apparently a joke document talking about the Pope being shot. What is wrong with these people? How can they joke about that?

    NEWS FLASH: If you haven't seen Outfoxed yet, what the hell are you waiting for??

    by wunderwood on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:17:28 AM PDT

  •  Good job! (none)
    Hey!  Good job to everyone.  The following article is from USA Today - quotes Barry Lucas from Gabelli saying, "I don't want my media companies that cover the news to be making news."

    Seriously - Great job

    Sinclair Broadcasting story in USA Today

    Plan to air divisive film raises questions

    By David Lieberman, USA TODAY

    NEW YORK -- Wall Streeters, political activists and media critics Monday were trying to answer a perplexing question: Why would Sinclair Broadcasting CEO David Smith embroil himself in controversy by ordering his stations to air Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal-- a documentary challenging Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's Vietnam service -- within days of the presidential election?

    The decision annoyed investors. Sinclair's shares, which have lost about half their value in 2004, closed Monday at $7.38, down 12 cents. That's about as low as they've been since 1995.

    "I don't want my media companies that cover the news to be making news," says Barry Lucas of Gabelli & Co., which owns about 4% of Sinclair.

    Michael Copps, a Federal Communications Commission member who some believe could become chairman if Kerry wins, said it's "an abuse of the public trust. And it is proof positive of media consolidation run amok when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology."

    Sinclair has 62 TV stations -- the No. 2 collection after Paxson Communications -- including many in such battleground states as Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

    The Democratic National Committee will file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission today. DNC lawyer Joe Sandler says Sinclair's plan is an "illegal in-kind contribution" to Bush.

    Sinclair did not return a call. Mark Hyman, vice president of corporate relations for Sinclair and an on-air conservative commentator for the company, told the Associated Press that the DNC's plan is "absolutely absurd." He added, "Would they suggest that our reporting a car bomb in Iraq is an in-kind contribution to the Kerry campaign?"

    But many believe Sinclair's provocative decision shows how much the company has riding on the election.

    With its heavy concentration of Fox and WB affiliates, ranking in the middle of the pack in mostly midsize markets, Sinclair is barely profitable and laden with debt. It had a net profit of $14 million on revenue of $739 million in 2003.

    Sinclair hopes to change that by solidifying its hold on local markets by controlling, for example, two stations in more cities and sharing operating and news-gathering costs. But it needs the federal government to relax several media ownership restrictions.

    Sinclair wants officials to permit a company to own two or more stations in more communities than allowed now. It also wants the FCC to ease a restriction that bars a company from owning TV stations reaching more than 35% of all homes, and to lift the rule that keeps companies from owning newspapers and TV stations in most markets.

    That's where the parties part ways. FCC Chairman Michael Powell, a Republican, has made media deregulation a priority, although many of the FCC's rule changes are tangled in court.

    Kerry says he'll clamp down on changes that promote consolidation.

    Contributing: Mark Memmott and Paul Davidson reported from McLean, Va.

  •  Possibly pre-empting Monday Night Football? (none)
    Has it occured to anyone else that if the rumors about an election eve prime time airing are true, that they will be pre-empting Monday Night Football on their ABC affiliated stations?

    If this turns out to be true, it seems like an incredibly moronic business decision.  Foregoing that kind of ad revenue and pissing off the national advertisers all in the name of partisanship is sure to take its toll financially.  

    But my stomach turns at the thought of all of those young white males tuning in for football and getting an anti-Kerry prop flick instead.  
     

  •  Bullseye! Biggest institutional investor (none)
    Checked out Earnest Investments. the CEO is Paul E. Viera, an African-American from Atlanta. According to opensecrets.org, he has donated $7,000 to BARAK OBAMA and $2000 to JOHN KERRY.

    He has to be wanting to sell this stock.

    www.opensecrets.org

  •  From above quoted USA Today (none)
     article        

    "Sinclair did not return a call. Mark Hyman, vice president of corporate relations for Sinclair and an on-air conservative commentator for the company, told the Associated Press that the DNC's plan is "absolutely absurd." He added, "Would they suggest that our reporting a car bomb in Iraq is an in-kind contribution to the Kerry campaign?""

    What the fuck is that about?  This guy is saying that a report of a car bombing in Iraq is somehow comparable to the anti-Kerry film?? They must go down. Sinclair cannot be allowed to show this film as they intend. This whole thing is just surreal and wrong.  

  •  Sinclair: 10/12 LA Times story (none)
    Sinclair story in the LA Times today.  Among other things, they talk to the director Carlton Sherwood, a self-proclaimed political independent "who's just happy to get the story out."  He said, "I did this as a journalist, for all the purest reasons. There was no political money and I did not engage anyone in the campaign. This is as clean as it gets."

    Renewable Energy: Choose Your Power or Green Tags

    by drh on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 06:49:21 AM PDT

  •  This thread should remain Prominent (none)
    maybe as a diary.
    I won't be able to do much writing till week-end.
  •  Democrats Attack Plan for Anti-Kerry Broadcast (none)
    The Los Angeles Times
    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    Democrats Attack Plan for Anti-Kerry Broadcast

    By Elizabeth Jensen and Stephen Braun, Times Staff Writers

    NEW YORK -- As Democrats mounted a multipronged attack on a conservative-leaning broadcast chain's plans to air an anti-John F. Kerry film, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," across a large swath of the country right before the election, much is riding on whether filmmaker Carlton Sherwood is a political propagandist or just a journalist with an untold story.

     Although Democrats call Sherwood's 42-minute film a blatantly partisan attack ad, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has ordered most of its 62 stations to showcase the film next week, just days before the Nov. 2 election. Many of the stations, which serve nearly one-fourth of the nation's homes with TV, are in swing states, including Ohio and Florida.

    Sherwood's film shares several sources with the anti-Kerry campaign of the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth, a group of Vietnam veterans who have accused the Democratic nominee of distorting his war record for political purposes. And Sherwood worked for nearly eight years for former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, now secretary of Homeland Security for the Bush administration.

     In a phone interview Monday, Sherwood said he's a political independent who's just happy to get the story out. "I did this as a journalist, for all the purest reasons. There was no political money and I did not engage anyone in the campaign. This is as clean as it gets."

     In Sherwood's film, released in early September on the Internet, former Vietnam prisoners of war allege that Kerry's antiwar activities after he returned home as a decorated naval veteran prolonged their own ordeal for two years by boosting the morale of their captors.

     A Vietnam veteran himself, Sherwood, a Harrisburg, Pa.-based former journalist for outlets including the conservative Washington Times, said he made the one-sided film to give voice to the veterans and didn't ask Kerry for comment because "he's had 33 years of all the press coverage he's wanted."

     Moreover, he said, "I've never done political reporting, never contributed to a political campaign, never worked for a campaign. I'm a registered independent." He said the $220,000 film was financed by Pennsylvania veterans.

     Democrats were fighting back on several fronts. Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said Sinclair, whose executives have given generously to the GOP, had refused to air a DNC ad criticizing President Bush and asserted that the company's news is "notoriously anti-Kerry in its content." He added that Sherwood's film was being represented by the public relations firm of Shirley & Bannister, whose clients include the Republican National Committee.

     The DNC said it would file a complaint today with the Federal Election Commission, charging Sinclair with making an illegal in-kind campaign contribution by running the film.

     Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and 17 other Democratic senators, including Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, signed a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission to investigate whether Sinclair's plan to air the film would be an improper use of public airwaves.

     "To allow a broadcasting company to air such a blatantly partisan attack in lieu of regular programming, and to classify that attack as 'news programming' as has been suggested, would violate the spirit, and we think the text, of current law and regulation," the senators wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell.

     Sinclair plans to run "Stolen Honor" as news programming, which is exempted under campaign finance law. But DNC legal counsel Joe Sandler argued in a conference call with reporters that the film was not made by a documentary filmmaker and Sinclair doesn't normally air such programming, so it doesn't qualify for the exemption.

     The FCC was closed for the Columbus Day holiday but Commissioner Michael J. Copps released a statement calling the broadcast "an abuse of the public trust. And it is proof positive of media consolidation run amok when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology -- whether liberal or conservative."

     But Andrew Schwartzman, a public interest lawyer who runs the Media Access Project, said the Sinclair broadcast was unlikely to violate major tenets of communications law.

     "It never runs afoul of communications law to carry a program," he said. "What's wrong is if they run a program determinedly one-sided and they don't give the other guy a fair shake." Schwartzman said the FCC's equal time provisions wouldn't apply because they are meant to give each candidate equal appearances on a station, not allow a rebuttal to a negative appearance (although Sinclair has offered Kerry a chance to appear).

     "What this really underscores is that no one company should be allowed to program 62 television stations," he said. "This administration has significantly loosened the media consolidation rules and Sinclair, having benefited from this, is now returning the favor."

     Executives at Sinclair didn't return calls. The company posted a statement on its website saying, "The program has not been videotaped and the exact format of this unscripted event has not been finalized. Characterizations regarding the content are premature and are based on ill-informed sources."

     Mark Hyman, Sinclair's vice president of corporate relations and a conservative commentator for its newscast, told Associated Press that the show would contain some or all of the film and a panel discussion.

     Addressing the DNC's complaint, he said: "Would they suggest that our reporting a car bomb in Iraq is an in-kind contribution to the Kerry campaign? Would they suggest that our reporting on job losses is an in-kind contribution to the Kerry campaign? It's the news. It is what it is."

     Sherwood said he first met executives of Maryland-based Sinclair several weeks ago when they called and asked him to screen the film. They told him last week that they had decided to air it, starting Oct. 21. He said he gave them the rights for free.

     At least two of the 17 former POWs who are listed on the film's website as interview subjects have ties to the Bush administration and have been involved in the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth. The two are Kenneth W. Cordier and Paul Galanti, who were both appointed by the Bush administration to serve on the Department of Veterans Affairs' 12-member Former POW Advisory Committee. Cordier was also a vice chair for the 2004 Bush presidential campaign's Veterans and Retired Military, but resigned that post after his tie to the campaign surfaced in the uproar over the Swift boat ads.

     Both men had appeared in a Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth television ad attacking Kerry in early September. Galanti said Kerry's antiwar statements were used by North Vietnamese "to demoralize us" and Cordier asked: "How could we support him now when he betrayed us in the past?"

     Spokesmen for the Swift boat veterans said they had nothing to do with the making of Sherwood's film but that they formally linked up with the POWs quoted in it after "Stolen Honor" was released in September.

     Sherwood, a former journalist with Gannett News Service and CNN, and author of "Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon," went to work for Ridge, whom he described as a "personal friend," in 1995.

     He served as Pennsylvania's director of Commonwealth media services, overseeing such things as the emergency broadcast system. When he left almost eight years later, he joined WVC3 Group, a Reston, Va.-based military and domestic security consulting firm with extensive government contacts.

     Until June, when he took a leave of absence to work on the film, Sherwood was executive vice president there.

     The firm's website describes a wide range of activities from counter-terrorism work for "the Pentagon and the CIA" to aiding the Department of Homeland Security in devising a website to be used by "first responders" such as firefighters, police and emergency officials.

     Sherwood said he had no financial interest in WVC3.

    Bad news for George Bush is good news for me. (10)

    by super simian on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 08:09:26 AM PDT

  •  Oh yeah.... (none)
    And here's the crux of the matter (from the 10/12 LA Times article):

     "What this really underscores is that no one company should be allowed to program 62 television stations," he said. "This administration has significantly loosened the media consolidation rules and Sinclair, having benefited from this, is now returning the favor."

    Bad news for George Bush is good news for me. (10)

    by super simian on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 08:16:17 AM PDT

  •  SBGI Investors Awarded Defense Contracts? (none)
    This is posted on the Yahoo SBGI board.

    Interesting to note, one of Sinclair's "ventures", Jadoo Power Systems announced a government contract on September 29th, 2004. (I ask myself, could there be a link between their broadcast decisions and government contracts?) If this fascinates you, check out Jadoo's other investor, Contango Capital out of Texas. It's getting real thick.

    From the Sacramento Bee:
    Jadoo Power Systems Inc. of Folsom has been awarded a contract to develop military power systems for the U.S. Special Operations Command, which wants to reduce the weight of energy storage units carried in the field.

  •  What do folks suggest (none)
    ..that we write to these big corporations who hold Sinclair stock?  that we intend to make their holdings worthless?  that they should reconsider holding such a flawed company?  that we now consider their own business suspect by association?

    honest request for suggestions, here.  happy to pitch in, but not sure how best to reason with a company to whom I am an invisible nobody...

    Those who would trade an essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither freedom nor security. ................ Benjamin Franklin

    by redfox1 on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:28:41 PM PDT

    •  Suggestions (none)
      You are a consumer: write the advertisers and say you will boycott. Mention the arrest of the president for a sex scandal, the FCC letter scolding them and the anti-Semetic remark made on CNN. Any one of these would spook an advertiser. Together, they really do have analysts worried.

      You can also write letters to your local papers on the subjet. I think the sex arrest can still be used, but is somewhat old news. The FCC letter is going to spook many people and needs to be pointed out to the media. Most explosive, and it hasn't hit the fan yet, are the anti-semetic statements. That could open a whole new front with big guns.

      If you hold any stock or shares in a mutual fund, write/call your broker and the mutual fund managers and ask them about this. Do you own shares through a mutual fund? Ask your broker if this will affect the market as a whole. In general, stir up concern. These really are genuine concerns and they have hit the stock pretty big, though it could recover quickly.

      •  You misunderstood (none)
        my question.  I'm asking specifically what we should do with the links at the top of this post -- i.e., those to investors (not advertisers or stations).  I hold stocks, but not through any of those companies, and I found that that made it difficult for me to formulate a letter.

        I guess I'll suggest that they either pressure the board at Sinclair or consider dropping the stock.  It's enough that they become aware of the furor...

        Those who would trade an essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither freedom nor security. ................ Benjamin Franklin

        by redfox1 on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 12:58:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ok, here's what I went with (none)
          feel free to make use of it if you want to write these guys too:
          ==
          Dear [Company] investors --

          You currently carry substantial holdings in Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns more than 60 channels in markets across the country.  In the past year, this company has begun to put its politics above the interests of the public (and implicitly above those of its stockholders).  First, it demanded that its subsidiaries not run an episode of Nightline in which Ted Koppel read a list of war dead.  Now, it has announced plans to force its stations to preempt their usual programming on the eve of the election in favor of a partisan Vietnam "documentary" of dubious provinance.

          This company has been a poor performer in recent years, and public outcry over their current judgement (which includes a lawsuit and advertiser boycotts) is only going to make matters worse.  I urge you to consider dropping this stock, or pressuring the Sinclair board to reconsider their priorities.

              Sincerely,
                  [moi, mytown, PA]

          Those who would trade an essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither freedom nor security. ................ Benjamin Franklin

          by redfox1 on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 01:09:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I see (none)
          I understand now. But if you do own stocks/funds, I still suggest your ask how this affects the market and what's up. It will stimulate more of a buzz even beyond the companies listed at the top.
    •  It depends (none)
      If you hold mutual funds in these firms described above, feel free to tell them that you disapprove of the investment.

      If you have no connection, the best you can do is let them know that you're participating in a boycott that will affect one of their large investments.

      It doesn't seem very "activist," but every little bit helps.

  •  new info for Pittsburg (none)
    the Fox station there has a coupon book promotion, so they kindly provided a list of some of their advertisers right here:

    http://www.wpgh53.com/pittsburgh_pa/station/sales/big_book/index.shtml

    I'm on the other side of the state, but there must be some of you over there who can pressure the car  dealers et al . . ..

    acm

    Those who would trade an essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither freedom nor security. ................ Benjamin Franklin

    by redfox1 on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:40:58 PM PDT

  •  My Letter (none)
    I urge you to  immediately limit your companies investment exposure to Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which by ordering all its stations to run a political slander against Kerry just before the election has made it likely that it will in the near future lose its broadcast licenses, or at minimum sustain considerable legal fees in defending them, as a number of them are now being actively challenged based on this possibly illegal and certainly unethical act.

    In addition a large boycott being directed at its station affiliates is gearing up. In response today, Mark Hymen the Vice President of Sinclair on CNN this morning (10/12/04) have just now been roundly condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for its anti-Semitic content in comparing the indignation by their blatantly partisan, and possibly illegal in-kind donation of broadcasting this anti-Kerry propaganda piece with "they are acting like Holocaust deniers". This is also the company that forced its ABC stations to not carry the ABC Nightline broadcast of the names and photos of the soldiers lost in Iraq, claiming it was "too political" yet is now giving free, in-kind donated air-time to anti-kerry fringe groups in the week before the elections. This is not going unnoticed in the major media and this is escalating.

    It is going to severely damage Sinclair, as this boycott is gearing up,  and already Sylvan Learning Center's in Tampa are pulling their advertising, as is HER Realtors with Sinclair's Columbus affiliates. There is as yet unconfirmed reports that Best Buy is pulling their national advertising.

    I encourage you and your managers to consider eliminating your exposure to this already poorly performing company which is about ti be severely harmed via the boycotts and overwhelmingly negative publicity this is generating.

    Mitchell Gore

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

    by Lestatdelc on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 04:27:38 PM PDT

  •  Make it Hurt (none)
    Hello all.  This is a great thing, this blog.  I have been soaking up the flavor of the place for a time and would like to add to your list of Sinclair's institutional investors. I noticed when I searched for this information a couple of days ago that Vanguard was on my list but not here. I figure since Vanguard is in my portfolio, it might be in many of yours as well.  

    I have already called them and emailed them my feelings about Sinclair. They are now aware that if the program airs, my funds will be withdrawn and that they could expect more of the same as these details made their way on the internet.  I figure it's about time some of those old fund dogs of mine learned some new tricks anyway.

    Listed below are the top 25 from the Strong website:

    Top 25 Institutional Ownership

    These figures are as of 6/30/04:

    Gabelli Asset Management CO (Gamco) 3.64M

    Westfield Capital Management CO 2.62M  

    Morgan Stanley Investment Management 2.53M  

    Neuberger Berman 2.27M

    Putnam Investment Mgmt 2.08M

    Perry Corp 1.91M

    Barclays Global Investors Intl 1.80M

    Blackrock Inc / NY 1.43M

    Janus Capital Corp 1.42M

    Invesco Global Asset Management 1.22M

    Vanguard Group 1.15M 77.10K 11,778 1.35 6-30-2004

    Columbia Mgmt Advisors (Boston/fleetboston 1.09M

    JP Morgan Chase (US) 837.26K

    State Street Global Advisors 678.53K

    Tcs Capital Management Llc 656.50K

    Chase Bank of Texas NA 634.10K

    Liberty Ridge Capital  572.10K

    Kirr Marbach & CO 564.64K

    Trinity Investment Management 503.20K

    Mfs Investment Management 499.24K

    Van Kampen Investments 478.00K

    Broadview Advisors Llc 467.70K

    Lehman Brothers Asset Management 467.13K

    Dreyfus Corporation 462.00K

    Thank you so much for all that you're doing!

  •  Charlie's MM (none)
    Here is another hateful comment from Charlie's. There was a post on another thread about how they had reprimanded the eprson that sent the first response. Clearly a lie.

    "Go back to school and learn how to spell, no wait, after the Bush victory you can go back free with Pell grants."

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