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.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.