‘Bloodletting’ at Channel 3

This morning on the radio I heard two hosts discussing WREG Channel 3 TV anchor Richard Ransom. They said he was leaving the station. Ransom wrote on twitter: “There comes a point when it’s time for a change. New opportunities await. I’m proud I helped lead WREG to #1 in all newscasts. Thank you all.”

The hosts went on to say that there was a lot of reshuffling and people leaving at Channel 3. “Bloodletting” was what one host called it.

They expressed dismay at the loss of Ransom as Channel 3 has won the news ratings while he’s been an anchor.

I have not been particularly fond of Ransom. He’s shown his liberal bias too many times for me to feel he’s an objective journalist. But, hey, who is anymore? That’s why so many of us have stopped watching both local and national news and cut back on the cable news watching.

Yesterday and today Rush Limbaugh was talking about it on his radio show. He had come to the same conclusion I have. You watch evening news programs, get upset, realize it’s all speculation and not worth your time. I for one am sick of listening to two sides joust night after night. I’d much prefer facts. I’d much prefer news stories other than those out of Washington, D.C. I hear there’s a bigger world out there than that, but don’t know from what they tell me.

The morning radio hosts went on to note that WREG was in the Tribune group and is undergoing a sale by the Sinclair Broadcasting people. This may explain why people are being let go.

If the deal goes through this is good news for conservatives. Sinclair is trying to buy up many local markets. They already own KATV, Channel 7, in Little Rock, and are acquiring KFSM-5 and KXNW-34 in Fort Smith. When current sales are done, Sinclair will have 173 stations in its chain.

According to a blog at the Arkansas Times, the company runs its programming along a pattern.

They are called “must-runs,” and they arrive every day at television stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group — short video segments that are centrally produced by the company. Station managers around the country are directed to work them into the broadcast over a period of 24 or 48 hours.

Since November 2015, Sinclair has ordered its stations to run a daily segment from a “Terrorism Alert Desk” with updates on terrorism-related news around the world. During the election campaign last year, it sent out a package that suggested in part that voters should not support Hillary Clinton because the Democratic Party was historically pro-slavery. More recently, Sinclair asked stations to run a short segment in which Scott Livingston, the company’s vice president for news, accused the national news media of publishing “fake news stories.”

As Sinclair prepares to expand its stable of local TV stations with a proposed acquisition of Tribune Media — which would add 42 stations to Sinclair’s 173 — advocacy groups have shown concern about the size and reach the combined company would have. Its stations would reach more than 70 percent of the nation’s households, including many of the largest markets.

Critics of the deal also cite Sinclair’s willingness to use its stations to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda. That practice has stirred wariness among some of its journalists concerned about intrusive direction from headquarters.

The article reports some pushback in liberal Seattle, where news staffers have chafed at some of Sinclair directives.

Sinclair defends its news practices and says sharing of content improves quality across the board. That content includes work by Sheryl Attkison, who left CBS complaining of liberal bias. Sinclair provided an important forum for Donald Trump and his family in campaign 2016, particularly in critical Ohio, an important part of Trump’s electoral victory.

What’s not to like?

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