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Bill Butler

As Sinclair Broadcast Group gets bigger…
and bigger, is there a more influential
player in program acquisition than
Bill Butler? Sinclair grew its considerable
footprint with its Four Points Media and
Freedom Broadcasting acquisitions and
has suggested it’s still in growth mode.
Meanwhile, Butler is making the
programming calls for the group, which
owns or manages 82 TV stations in 45 markets—good for 26.3% of the
U.S. With 20 Fox affiliates in particular, that’s a lot of airtime to fill.

Sinclair flagship WBFF Baltimore grabbed Wheel of Fortune and
Jeopardy! from its Scripps rival—a rare Fox affiliate to snag the bluechip
shows, and a big statement. “It’s scary, the rate at which they’re
growing,” says one syndication chief. Mix in Sinclair’s plans to put its
content on mobile DTV, and Butler is poised for a monster year.