The rumor at the time of the death of KSNV-Channel 3 owner Jim Rogers was that conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group might buy the station and turn its editorial policy 180-degrees and spell trouble for its stable of liberal pundits.
Today the Baltimore company announced it has purchased the NBC affiliate for $120 million.
“We are pleased to add KSNV to our portfolio,” the press release quoted Steve Pruett, co-chief operating officer of Sinclair’s television group as saying. “With the addition of the station, our news footprint will cover all the major cities in the state of Nevada, allowing us to be a leading provider of local and regional news.”
Note the immediate reference to the news footprint.
The left-wing MediaMatters compiled a litany of conservative deeds by the group, saying “Sinclair has used its stations to promote a conservative, anti-progressive message.”
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.”
KSNV liberal pundit Jon Ralston, a defrocked newspaper columnist, is already hinting at things to come, saying in his morning email: “Big news in the TV (and my) world this morning. Sinclair has purchased KSNV, which means the huge company now owns the two major NBC outlets in Nevada. Sinclair has conservative owners, a dramatic change from the Jim Rogers days.”
The sale is expected to be completed in first quarter of 2015.