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Sinclair To Debate Deal Critics on Hill

Sinclair will take on its critics in person Nov. 15 when Georgetown Law's Institute for Technology Law & Policy will host a debate and panel session on the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger.

The merger has become a flashpoint for various issues, including what is the relevant media market, the regulation of content, presidential politics, viewpoint diversity, national vs. local programming, next gen TV, and media ownership deregulation.

Debating the deal, at the Capitol Hill Visitor's Center, will be Sinclair counsel John Hane and David Goodfriend, president of Goodfriend Government Affairs and whose Sports Fans Coalition is a member of another coalition trying to block the deal.

The panel, which will be on the broader topic of "whether ownership rules matter in the internet age," will be moderated by Gigi Sohn, former top counselor to Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

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Panelists are Rebecca Hanson, SVP, strategy and Policy, Sinclair Broadcast Group; Eddie Lazarus, EVP and general counsel, Tribune (and former chief of staff to FCC Chairman Julius Genachwoski); Andrew Jay Schwartzman, Benton senior counselor at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Public Representation; Carmen Scurato, director for policy and legal affairs, National Hispanic Media Coalition; and Jim Winston, President, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.

The FCC is currently vetting the deal, having restarted its informal shot clock last week after pausing it to allow for more comment.

Currently the docket has the second-most comments in the past 30 days after the Restoring Internet Freedom (net neutrality) docket.

Public wishing to attend can register here.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.