Sinclair, America’s largest operator of local TV stations, is in the spotlight after a controversial promo video went viral over the weekend.
Some staffers say they’re embarrassed by the promos and concerned about their own credibility as journalists. A few local anchors and reporters are even reacting publicly, risking the ire of management.
But Sinclair senior vice president of news Scott Livingston is defending the promos as a “well-researched journalistic initiative focused on fair and objective reporting.”
In an internal memo obtained by CNNMoney, Livingston slammed what he called “misleading, often defamatory stories” about the company. (The full memo is below.)
Last month, at Livingston’s direction, anchors at Sinclair’s stations were required to read a script decrying “fake stories” and biased news coverage. Some of the language echoes President Trump’s anti-media messaging. And it’s written to make it sound like the opinion of the local anchors, when in fact it’s a mandate from management.
Concerned journalists contacted CNNMoney about the promos last month. When the promos started airing, the Deadspin blog produced a video compilation of the exact same script being read by anchors across the country, reiterating the robotic and manipulative nature of the message.
Read the full report from CNN here.