Sinclair and the midterms: Tennessee edition
If you live in a midsize city or battleground state, you are now more likely than ever to see propaganda bolstering President Donald Trump and conservative spin on your local news -- just in time for the 2018 election season -- thanks to conservative media giant Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Media Matters has identified communities that will see competitive congressional midterm races and that have Sinclair-owned or -operated news stations. Many Sinclair stations are already airing national news programming with a conservative slant, and they will be ramping up coverage of their local races.
We’ve already tackled Nevada. Now, we’re taking a look at Tennessee.
Key 2018 race
- Senate: Tennessee has an open Senate seat this year, and the race is considered a toss-up by Cook Political Report as of publication. The current front-runners are U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.
Sinclair stations in state
WTVC (NewsChannel 9) and WFLI (The CW) in Chattanooga
- Sinclair-owned WTVC (NewsChannel 9) in Chattanooga regularly airs at least some of Sinclair’s “must-run” content, including nationally produced news packages, and it aired the recent anchor-read scripted segments about media bias. News Channel 9 also airs Sinclair’s weekly news shows Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson and The Armstrong Williams Show. WTVC 9.2 (a subchannel of WTVC) hosts Chattanooga’s Fox affiliate, Fox Chattanooga.
- MPS Media-owned WFLI (The CW Chattanooga) “receives certain services from an affiliation of Sinclair” and occasionally re-airs some of Fox Chattanooga’s local news programming, such as its 10 p.m. Saturday newscasts. The two stations share a main studio address.
WZTV (Fox 17), WUXP (My30), and WNAB (CW58) in Nashville
- Sinclair-owned WZTV (Fox 17) also regularly airs at least some of Sinclair’s “must-run” content, including nationally produced news packages, fearmongering “Terrorism Alert Desk” updates, and the weekly show Full Measure.
- Sinclair-owned WUXP (My30) shares a main studio address with Fox 17 and re-airs at least some of Fox 17’s local news programming.
- Nashville Broadcasting-owned WNAB (The CW58) “receives certain services from an affiliation of Sinclair Broadcast Group” and also shares a main studio address with Fox 17 and My30. It does not appear to regularly air news programming.
Coming soon: WREG (News Channel 3) in Memphis
- WREG (News Channel 3) in Memphis is currently owned by Tribune Media but will soon be owned by Sinclair if the company’s pending acquisition of up to 42 Tribune stations is approved.
What else you need to know
Sinclair’s political action committee gave a total of $4,500 to Blackburn’s Senate campaign committee in 2017. Blackburn currently serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and she chairs its Subcommittee on Communications and Technology -- an important subcommittee for Sinclair.
Are there Sinclair stations near you?
Use Media Matters’ interactive map at FindSinclair.com to learn more.
Graphics by Sarah Wasko.
The map in this post has been updated to include Tennessee's 9th congressional district.