story by Wayne Barratt at The Daily Beast.
The Daily Beast has already reported that just months after Sharpton played a pivotal role in pushing the merger, he became a regular substitute host and appears now to be in line for a fulltime anchor post on Comcast’s MSNBC. As awkward as that coincidence is, how about a conflict of interest he did not disclose in his letters to the Federal Communications Commission—or his other pro-merger activities?
He was trumpeting a merger that’s already paid dividends to Radio One and its affiliate TV One, which reportedly pay him $700,000-a-year for his six-year-old radio show, commentary, and other appearances on TV One, and occasional blogging on their joint website, NewsOne.
While Radio One is the largest single shareholder in TV One, Comcast has been its partner since TV One’s inception in 2004 and, until recently, held almost as much stock in the television network, 34 percent, as Radio One, 36.8 percent. In fact, Comcast’s role in the launch of this network, which targets a national black audience, was cited repeatedly by the company when questions were raised about its diversity track record during the yearlong debate about this merger.
Within a few weeks of the Comcast/NBC approval in late January, Radio One’s ownership of TV One soared to 50.8 percent. Comcast acknowledged in an email to The Daily Beast that it facilitated this stock acquisition, though it said the terms of the deal were “confidential.”