A Washington Post article brings news about a new media player in Little Rock that will bear watching in the days ahead. By Paul Fahri:
There’s a new owner and a new approach to the news at WJLA-TV, Washington’s ABC affiliate. Under the direction of its ambitious corporate parent, the station’s news operations have taken a subtle but noticeable turn to the right.
Last week, for example, WJLA viewers woke up to a new face on the morning news: Mark Hyman, a veteran conservative pundit, who offered some criticism of President Obama.
In his video commentary, Hyman railed against the inconsistent enforcement of a ban on travel to Cuba by Americans. Noting that the music stars Jay Z and Beyoncé had “partied up” in Havana last year without penalty, Hyman insinuated that Obama had protected the couple from prosecution.
WJLA is one of 64 stations now owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which recently completed its purchased of ABC affiliate KATV in Little Rock. Sinclair’s right-wing tilt is old news in the media business. In Washington, WJLA is also partnering with the conservative Washington Times on a weekly report on government waste. It is featuring reports, too, from the Sinclair Washington bureau, peppered with critical reporting on President Obama and information from conservative D.C. think tanks.
Here’s a rundown from critic Media Matters on some past Sinclair political broadcasting.
Sinclair purchased KATV and other stations from Allbritton, an ownership that featured a bit of political involvement of its own when the station general manager did an on-air endorsement of George W. Bush in the 2000 general election.