The death of Channel 3 owner Jim Rogers on Saturday has prompted an outpouring of well deserved plaudits for his philanthropy and dedication to the community and education, but perhaps the most interesting item with far-reaching implications for the future was atop Norm Clarke’s column today.
Though Rogers had told the staff of KSNV-TV this past December, during his battle with cancer, that “whatever happens, the station will not be put up for sale,” Clarke reports those staffers are concerned about a recent visit by Sinclair Broadcast Group chairman, president and CEO David D. Smith.
Such a sale would have implications for programming and personnel — such as the lowly rated Jon Ralston program.
In 2004 Sinclair stations were ordered to air a documentary critical of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Its newscasts often include editorials by conservative commentator Mark Hyman. The stations supported Mitt Romney. In 2010 they ran a 25-minute piece that said Obama “displays tendencies some would call socialist.”
If Sinclair were to purchase Channel 3, it likely would have major political implications.
“It could go from liberal ownership to conservative,” said a source at the station. “Jim more than leaned left and these guys more than lean right.”
Though Rogers and I locked horns on a few occasions over the past decades, he was always personally courteous and civil. He has given many people a second chance and has been good for the community. He leaves a legacy.
We’ll wait and see what the next chapter at Channel 3 is. Perhaps, it was just a friendly visit by someone in the same business.