Sinclair Broadcast Group is doing away with “must-run” commentary segments from Boris Epshteyn, chief political analyst, and Ameshia Cross, a progressive political analyst. The final ones air Dec. 13. The move is part of Sinclair’s efforts to shift away from political commentary in favor of investigative reporting,” according to NBC News.
“We have to shine a light on our value proposition every quarter hour, in every newscast," the company said in a statement to staff, according to NBC News. "Therefore, we will be expanding our local investigative journalism footprint in our daily newscasts. We are excited to dedicate more time in our newscasts to report on critical and relevant issues.”
Sinclair owns 191 television stations in 89 markets. A call to the Sinclair news operation was not responded to at press time.
Epshteyn was an aide to President Trump before coming on board at Sinclair, and his segments, titled "Bottom Line with Boris," frequently praise the president and blast liberals. NBC News said Epshteyn will move to a sales role at Sinclair.
Media Matters for America, a big critic of both Sinclair and Epshteyn's commentary, provided some back-handed applause for the decision.
“Sinclair Broadcast Group’s move to stop force-feeding its audiences Trump-campaign propaganda through Epshteyn’s segments and hopefully prioritize what viewers actually care about - community news - is a step in the right direction," said Pam Vogel, editorial director for the group. "It’s proof that the American people want real news, not propaganda masquerading as political commentary.”
John Eggerton contributed to this article.
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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.