Sinclair Broadcast Group agreed on Wednesday to pay a record $48 million fine to resolve a series of allegations with the Federal Communications Communication.
The FCC announced that the agreement will end three investigations into the broadcaster, including charges that it failed to disclose the sponsor of paid content, and that it misled the FCC during its failed merger with Tribune Media.
In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called Sinclair’s conduct “completely unacceptable” and said the fine should serve as a warning to others.
“On the other hand,” he continued, “I disagree with those who, for transparently political reasons, demand that we revoke Sinclair’s licenses. While they don’t like what they perceive to be the broadcaster’s viewpoints, the First Amendment still applies around here.”
Sinclair’s CEO, Chris Ripley, said in a statement on Wednesday that the company was “pleased with the resolution announced today by the FCC and to be moving forward.”
“We thank the FCC staff for their diligence in reaching this resolution,” Ripley added. “Sinclair is committed to continue to interact constructively with all of its regulators to ensure full compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.”
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