FCC announces $13 million fine against Sinclair.

This entire graphic represents Sinclair’s 2016 revenues. The dot represents the fine.

The actual number that the Commission is proposing is $13,376,200, for failing to disclose that stories it aired either as news reports or as longform programs on its stations were in fact paid segments. An anonymous tip led the FCC to look into the matter, finding that Sinclair aired reports supplied by the Huntsman Cancer Institute over 1700 times across their O&O stations without disclosing the source or sponsorship of those reports. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel pointed out that, as large as the fine is, it’s only 0.5% of Sinclair’s entire revenue for 2016, and only 0.3% of the value of the Tribune merger. Fellow Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn agreed, calling the fine “a mere slap on the wrist,” noting that numerous other companies have been find far more relative to their value—Clyburn said, “We routinely find companies between 3-8% of their gross revenues. Does this mark yet another example of special treatment by the FCC majority? You decide.”