Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sinclair Denies Bids For O'Reilly, Hannity

A spokesperson for Sinclair Broadcasting categorically denied that the network was recruiting Fox News anchor Sean Hannity and former anchor Bill O’Reilly, saying “we are not speaking to Hannity, not speaking to O’Reilly, [and] there is no intention of hiring any of them.”

But, according to Politico,  a source with direct knowledge of conversations said that there is intense interest on behalf of Sinclair, a national broadcast company known for promoting conservative views, to recruit the two anchors, saying “the public posture is very different from the private posture” and that Sinclair "is very interested down the line in pursuing being a possible competitor” to Fox.

When Sinclair announced it was purchasing Tribune Media last week, speculation began spreading that they may be angling to create some sort of Fox News rival.

The combined company will now own more than 200 stations, cable channel WGN and stakes in other cable channels. Sinclair has come under fire in recent years for asking its affiliates to air stories with right-leaning bents, and the company’s owners have long supported Republicans, including President Donald Trump. It also recently hired former White House staffer Boris Epshteyn as a political analyst.

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