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FCC Pauses Sinclair-Tribune Deal Review

The FCC has paused its review of Sinclair's proposed merger with Tribune.

In a letter to Sinclair explaining why it had paused the informal 180-day shot clock on the merger, Michele Carey, chief of the Media Bureau, cited Sinclair's Jan. 4 ex parte note to the FCC that it was evaluating divestitures and other amendments to the deal based on changes in the FCC's  media ownership rules, as well as the impact of the DOJ review on possible divestiture choices.

Related: O'Rielly Says Media Dereg Moves Not Motivated by Sinclair-Tribune Merger

The FCC wants to see those divestiture applications and amendments before making its decision, and pausing the clock will allow for that.

The FCC also stopped the clock back in October to give commenters more time to weigh in on the deal given Sinclair's additional explanation of the public interest benefits of the deal and how it would spin off stations to comply with FCC rules.