Tuesday, November 07, 2017

MD A.G. opposing $4 billion deal...for company in his own state

A virtually unprecedented situation is unfolding in Maryland. The state's attorney general, Brian Frosh, is opposing a $4 billion dollar merger expected to be a financial boon for a company...in his own state. In a move that has left many in the business community again scratching their heads over the anti-business mania of the Montgomery County political cartel, Frosh last Friday joined his peers in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in opposing the merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media Company.

Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair forecasts the merger would be a boon in boosting revenues, cutting costs and generating cash flow to pay down debts. Should such benefits come to pass, the cash flow would also go to the state of Maryland via taxes. But now Maryland's own attorney general is stepping in to try and stop the deal, which is currently before the Federal Communications Commission.

Despite that potential revenue boost for the state, Frosh is calling the merger "a bad deal for Marylanders." The attorney general claims the deal would raise the cost of cable, and reduce programming choices for viewers. Apparently, Frosh is unaware of Netflix, HBO Now, Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Playstation Vue, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, Crackle, Tubi TV, Acorn TV, and Pluto TV, just to name a few.

Frosh and his fellow travelers also say the merger would improperly use the UHF Discount rule to avoid the FCC cap on total station reach, and advise the FCC to wait until the District of Columbia Circuit Court issues its final ruling on the UHF rule. But clear heads can rule today that the Montgomery County political cartel has once again lost its wits.

While the deal should certainly be scrutinized by regulators, it is astonishing to witness a state's attorney general trying to sabotage a deal - and lower profits for - a company in his own state. It does not help Montgomery County and Maryland shed their horrible international reputation as anti-business jurisdictions. And will therefore give just one more reason for corporations to avoid us and relocate to Virginia instead.

Bad deal.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dyer shilling for his fellow Neanderthals in the Right Wing Noise Machine.

Anonymous said...

"But clear heads can rule today that the Montgomery County political cartel has once again lost its wits."

Frosh is a state official, you paranoid delusional Birdbrain.

Anonymous said...

The genesis of Robert's grievance is that Frosh defeated his Daddy in 2006. (Like he had any chance.)

Robert Dyer said...

5:37: Geography update: Frosh lives in Montgomery County, old sport.

Anonymous said...

A cynic might suggest that the fact that Sinclair is right of the "lame stream" #FakeNews media is a factor here.

Anonymous said...

"lower profits for - a company in his own state" Gee whiz Dyer, you think maybe Frosh believes those higher profits come at the expense of Maryland consumers and other Maryland businesses? Hey, guess what AGs do ... they enforce state antitrust and consumer protection laws. Maybe Frosh and his staff has some experience in this matter.

Referring to him as a member of the "MoCo Cartel" is an insult to his continuing support to get rid of the DLC.

Anonymous said...

And of course Frosh is an elected official, not an appointed official. He won with 56% of the votes of the people of Maryland.

Anonymous said...

"Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a multistate group of four attorneys general "

"The merged company would own or operate over 200 stations nationwide with the
ability to reach more than 70 percent of U.S. television households, far above the statutory
limits."

"In addition, the attorneys general argue that the proposed merger inappropriately relies on an outdated method known as the UHF Discount for calculating national audience reach that does not reflect the reality of today’s technology, understating the audience reach of a UHF station by 50 percent. "

http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/news%20documents/FCC_MB_Docket_17_179.pdf

please do your homework before posting Robert.

-Your Editor,
S.H.

Robert Dyer said...

6:07: I already reported that in my story. Is English your first language? Did you read my story?

Anonymous said...

5:37 , Chevy Chase as matter of fact. Pass by the Lib frequently. He went to Walter Johnson, probably got his ass beat the entire time and now is taking it out on Maryland in general.

Anonymous said...

Robert Dyer wrote at 6:28 AM:

"6:07: I already reported that in my story. Is English your first language? Did you read my story?"

What Dyer wrote:

"The attorney general claims the deal would raise the cost of cable, and reduce programming choices for viewers."

What 6:07 AM wrote:

"The merged company would own or operate over 200 stations nationwide with the
ability to reach more than 70 percent of U.S. television households, far above the statutory
limits
."

What Dyer wrote:

"Frosh and his *fellow travelers* also say the merger would improperly use the UHF Discount rule to avoid the FCC cap on total station reach, and advise the FCC to wait until the District of Columbia Circuit Court issues its final ruling on the UHF rule."

What 6:07 AM wrote:

"[T]he attorneys general argue that the proposed merger inappropriately relies on an outdated method known as the UHF Discount for calculating national audience reach that does not reflect the reality of today’s technology, understating the audience reach of a UHF station by 50 percent."

Dyer, it looks like you need to brush up on your mother tongue.

Robert Dyer said...

7:03: Frosh's assertion about how many households reached is based on his interpretation of the UHF rule's application. It's not a factual statement. Let's stick to the facts, and the fact is that Sinclair can request the UHF exemption under the rules today.

Anonymous said...

reeeeeeeetarrrrrrrrd doesn't understand

Anonymous said...

Go do what your little brain is good at Dyer go rate quesadillas and other fast food (deee-yahhh) the L's are silent tardo

Anonymous said...

WON'T ANYBODY THINK OF THE PROFITS!!???!?!

Seriously, though -- not everything is about money. Media consolidation is already harming consumers across the country. I appreciate this post because it shows Mr. Dyer's true colors -- standing up for huge corporations at the expense of Montgomery County residents. For shame!

Robert Dyer said...

8:13: How is media "consolidated?" There are more TV options than ever. I listed many of them in the article above. Even the number of free TV channels has increased.

How do expect to employ "Montgomery County residents" if you scare away all the big employers? Do you share Hans Riemer's belief that the future of the economy is farmers markets? The governor of Virginia has certainly had more than a few laughs at Hans' expense.

Anonymous said...

@Dyer 8:19: Sinclair is buying up local stations all over the country. Hence independent stations being consolidated under control of one enterprise. Sinclair is the reason people like Maureen Bunyan are being forced out -- profit, profit, profit!

Which employers are being "scared away" here? Is Sinclair going to close up shop and move to Idaho if the merger doesn't go through? (Sinclair isn't even based in Montgomery County so I'm not sure why a "hyperlocal" blogger is so worked up about this, aside from the opportunity to take a pot shot at Frosh.)

Last but not least, I think your statement about Reimer's position on the future of the economy is a willful mischaracterization. Does he believe farmers markets have a role to play in the economy? I hope so, because that's obvious. Does he think they're the linchpin? I seriously doubt it. (By gum you never squander an opportunity to insult the guy who defeated you!)

Robert Dyer said...

8:39: It's very relevant to Montgomery County, because Frosh lives here, is part of the MoCo political cartel, and his actions threaten to reduce the amount of money the state will be able to put toward school construction here.

Hans Riemer himself said that economic development was about farmers markets and small companies like Salsa Labs. Meanwhile, in the real world, Northern Virginia is vacuuming up all of the corporate headquarters we've scared away.

The essential question is, even if it were bad for the rest of the country (and the popularity of streaming services suggests it is not), the Sinclair merger stands to boost a Maryland company and the states' revenue coffers - - why would the state's own attorney general try to stop that? It's insane.

Anonymous said...

Sinclair isn't on the Fortune 500 list, or even close. And a combined Sinclair-Tribune won't be, either.

How many do they actually employ in their Hunt Valley headquarters?

Anonymous said...

Not-So-Anonymous @ 6:42 AM wrote: (Referring to Brian Frosh) "Chevy Chase as matter of fact. Pass by the Lib frequently. He went to Walter Johnson, probably got his ass beat the entire time and now is taking it out on Maryland in general."

If anyone had written this about Robert Dyer, Dyer would have claimed that this was "doxing", "stalking", and "making death threats".

Why the double standard, Dyer?

Robert Dyer said...

8:54: Never said they were. But back to the point - they would increase revenue, thereby boosting MD tax revenue, and Maryland would have the headquarters of the largest TV broadcaster in the country. That sounds like a great deal, not a bad deal. Why is Frosh trying to hurt his own state? For publicity for himself?

Anonymous said...

"his actions threaten to reduce the amount of money the state will be able to put toward school construction here"

Are state revenues from Sinclair's taxes dedicated to school funding? Or are you just using schools as a "won't somebody think of the children??"-type example? Because that would be sad.

You know what? Hans Reimer is right about small companies. Small businesses make up 99.7% of U.S. employer firms and 64% of net new private-sector jobs. Small business mean innovation, flexibility and growth.

Frosh's position is that the merger is bad for people in the state of Maryland. Yes, additional revenue (which is not guaranteed) might be nice -- but at what cost?

Anonymous said...

Your complete lack of knowledge about business and public policy continues to astound me Dyer. "they would increase revenue, thereby boosting MD tax revenue" --- Yes, the total revenue of the consolidated firm will rise. The thing is businesses don't pay taxes based on revenue, they pay it based on profits. This deal is financed with cash and debt. So you can expect lower profits as the interest from the debt is deductible. This is a common outcome of most debt-financed mergers. And finally, Sinclair pays MD tax based on it's earnings in the state, not on earnings at TV stations located in other states. So the profits earned by Sinclair in MD will be unchanged. No actually their tax bill will be lower as they proportionally write-off the additional debt on their MD taxes.

If you think this will increase the headcount by any appreciable amount at Sinclair HQ, then you know nothing about broadcasting. Broadcasting is a local business.

You need to stick to rewriting press releases.

Anonymous said...

Robert you do not have a grasp of these decisions and what goes into determining if they are good for the state. To put it nicely, you have no technical knowledge of how this process or the information/ proposal works and so your analysis in this case, and many others, is wrong and simply a way to make negative comments that fit your agenda to bash the government in maryland and moco. Whatever. Everyone has to have a shtick i guess if they have a blog....

Anonymous said...

Dyer, shouldn't you mention that Frosh defeated your father in the 2006 election, in the interest of full disclosure? A true journalist would disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer:

"The governor of Virginia has certainly had more than a few laughs at Hans' expense."

I doubt that the governor of Virginia has the same fixation on a single local legislator that Dyer has.

Anonymous said...

Political disagreement is as American as mom and apple pie.

Using government to silence political oppositions is textbook fascism

Anonymous said...

I don't understand all the opposition to Sinclair. Yeah, they have a conservative take, so what?

Anonymous said...

Frosh is the state attorney general. He does not represent Montgomery County. Sinclair is not headquartered in Montgomery County. It doesn't matter where he lives. Is Mike Pence an organ of the DC government?

I hope the merger goes through, but stop trying to shoehorn your personal (and delusional) feelings for the Montgomery County government into every single political event. I guarantee you it turns readers off.

Next you'll be saying:

"The evil MoCo cartel again insulted its great citizens by not handing out coats and umbrellas to every resident of the county this morning, after they had plenty of warning of inclement weather. These heinous and irresponsible neglect can be directly attributed to Mr. Riemer and Bain Capital."

Anonymous said...

9:01am What world do you live in? Did you know Trump lives on PA ave in DC? Ever heard of Google?

4810 Grantham Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: (240) 479-9788

Anonymous said...

@12:23 If the merger goes through one media group would essentially control local television for 70% of households in this country. Regardless of their politics, I'm not okay with that (and it's against current regulations). Sinclair is also known for censoring stories and insisting on "must run" pieces that they provide to local outlets. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/12/business/media/sinclair-broadcast-komo-conservative-media.html).

Anonymous said...

12:58 PM Now that you bring it up, why did Bane Capital contribute money to Reamer's campaigns?

Anonymous said...

1:00 PM, you do know what doxing is right?

Anonymous said...

Dyer sure has an incredible amount of resentment over a $500 contribution.

Anonymous said...

What did Bane want with Reamer? Has that ever been answered?

Anonymous said...

Oh that’s is a really good point thanks for letting us know.

Anonymous said...

Dyer's unsigned self is doxing the State Attorney General. Dyer seems like a candidate for the Darwin Award.

Anonymous said...

3:09 PM You posted someone's address and then claimed Dyer did it.
Do you think we're all idiots?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Dyer's Republican hero in his home state of Virginia just lost bigly.

Trying to use "MS-13" as a talking point backfired on him badly.

Robert Dyer said...

6:41: Enron Ed was never going to win. It would have been like nominating Jeb Bush in 2016. No grassroots support. Super low energy. Two dinosaurs lumbering into the good night. The winner tonight was the Washington Post, for suppressing Corey Stewart's voter turnout just enough with fake polls that showed him "20 points behind Gillespie!" "It'll be a blowout!!"

Kind of like their fake polls that showed Trump being destroyed by Hillary. In reality, Stewart was probably around 5 or more points ahead of Gillespie throughout the campaign, and would have won if the Post hadn't pushed Gillespie - - with tonight's predictable outcome in mind.

"Trying to use 'MS-13' as a talking point [when voters know he is actually a globalist who favors open borders] backfired on him badly."

Robert Dyer said...

12:58: Mike Pence isn't a lifelong resident of Montgomery County, and hasn't been an active player in the Montgomery County cartel. Frosh has.

Anonymous said...

Why does Robert Dyer think that it's a bad thing to be "a lifelong resident of Montgomery County"?

Anonymous said...

Why does the former angry blogger, now angry Anonymous troll, continue to obsess about Robert Dyer?

Robert Dyer said...

7:26: Never said that, moron. I'm responding to your insane assertion that Frosh is not a resident of Montgomery County, and insane belief that he did not represent Montgomery County in the General Assembly for many, many years. He is part of the MoCo cartel. Period.

Anonymous said...

Same reason Dyer obsesses over Hans?

We’ve gone over this before.

Anonymous said...

"He is part of the MoCo cartel"

I would stop posting this if you want people to stop questioning your sanity. This imaginary "cartel" is in your mind only. Your rantings about cartels, dead people voting, and Hans Riemer etc really kill your credibility.

Robert Dyer said...

6:38: Montgomery County knows there is a cartel - that's why they overwhelmingly approved term limits to boot that cartel out of office.

Anonymous said...

5:38am Let's be clear: there's a difference between having skepticism of an elected official's policies compared to ad hominem personal attacks, obsessing about family members, posting personal information, posting lies about personal information, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

The voters of Montgomery County overwhelmingly voted to keep Robert Dyer out of office. Three times in a row.

Anonymous said...

"Let's be clear: there's a difference between having skepticism of an elected official's policies compared to ad hominem personal attacks."

I'm not 5:38, but you're talking about Dyer right? He does that on an hourly basis, which is why I take absolutely nothing he says about: a) politics and b) the local economy seriously.

Anonymous said...

I carry no water or affection for the cartel, but this instinctive concern for profit without serious regard to the non-economic institutional effects of such mergers or the general values of antitrust doctrine really is disturbing. I've no interest in the personal attacks and such that plague this site, but there are public concerns far beyond a balance sheet. I would like to see some specific reference supporting the county's alleged international recognition as anti-business, given some of the recent outrages involving tax-funded gifts to developers. That's a large reason we're short
on funds for education.