A Sinclair-owned station in Portland, Ore., has ordered its employees to not talk to the press about a controversial script decrying “fake news” that was read by anchors around the country.
The memo said that “giving statements to the media or sharing negative information about the company can have huge implications,” according to an exclusive Tuesday
report on FTVLive.com
, which covers the media.
Critics slammed the Sinclair promos after they went viral over the weekend via a compilation made by Deadspin
, an online publication. The Deadspin video threaded the statements from many of the Sinclair anchors reading the same script, creating a chorus of sorts.
“Please DO NOT answer any questions or get into any discussion with callers, as they try to navigate to someone internally,” said the memo from Robert Truman, general manager of KATU in Portland.
“Most certainly don’t talk to the press about the issue. Direct them to the website and press inquiries to me,” he continues.
“I will also remind you that giving statements to the media or sharing negative information about the company can have huge implications,” Truman adds later.
Most broadcast news organizations and networks mandate that its employees not speak to the press without permission from the public relations department beforehand.
Sinclair pushed back at critics of an ad campaign on Monday who argue the segments are pro-Trump propaganda, stating the promos were “focused on fact-based reporting” and showed the company’s “commitment to our communities.”
Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), meanwhile, joined other Democrats in reiterating calls for the Justice Department to reject a merger between Sinclair and Tribune Media. The merger would give Sinclair coverage of 72 percent of American households.
“I have written a letter to the Justice Department calling for the Sinclair merger to be rejected outright. It is signed by 37 of my colleagues,” wrote Cárdenas on Twitter on Monday.
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