Time Warner Inc.

Easing of broadcast ownership restrictions is expected to benefit Sinclair/Tribune deal

Easing of broadcast ownership restrictions is expected to benefit Sinclair/Tribune deal

Federal regulators took steps Thursday to ease broadcast ownership restrictions, a move seen as favorable for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media Co.

The Federal Communications Commission said the rule changes would promote ownership diversity and allow broadcasters and local newspapers to better compete in the digital age. Critics said the changes would encourage consolidation and hurt media diversity.

Under one change, the commission eliminated a rule prohibiting cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in a single market and another banning ownership of radio and television stations in a single market. The...

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