The FCC’s agenda may be good news for the class of mostly white men who own big telecom companies and broadcasting stations and are eager to consolidate their control over the media landscape. Consider Sinclair Broadcast Group, the TV broadcasting giant that reportedly “struck a deal” with the Trump campaign for favorable coverage and has since seen regulatory hurdles standing in the way of a proposed merger with Tribune Media cleared by Pai and the FCC.
Sinclair is known for pushing a conservative agenda and could soon reach 72 percent of local TV viewers nationwide if the merger is approved.
“To some extent Trump TV already exists; it’s just going to be Trump TV on steroids,” Tim Karr, spokesperson for the digital rights group Free Press, said of Sinclair in an interview.
Pai has been talking about killing the FCC’s historic net neutrality rules since they were established in 2015 (well before his appointment as chairman). He’s been taking comments on a draft proposal to do so for months and circulated a final draft among his fellow commissioners today. A final draft will be released to the public on Wednesday. Observers expect the FCC to vote on a measure that will largely gut the rules at a meeting scheduled for December 14.