Sinclair drops program hosted by former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn

Sinclair drops program hosted by former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn
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Sinclair Broadcast Group executives announced in a memo to staff this week that the company would drop must-run political commentary segments hosted by Boris Epshteyn, a former adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE's 2016 campaign.

NBC News reported that a memo circulated to staffers indicated that Epshteyn, the network's chief political analyst, would move into a sales role within the company as the network focuses more on local news.

“We have to shine a light on our value proposition every quarter hour, in every newscast," read the memo, according to NBC. "Therefore, we will be expanding our local investigative journalism footprint in our daily newscasts. We are excited to dedicate more time in our newscasts to report on critical and relevant issues.”

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“To allot additional airtime for this storytelling, we will be ending the commentary segments this Friday, Dec. 13, featuring Ameshia Cross, and Boris Epshteyn,” it continued.

"Boris will be moving into a sales-focused role with the company," the memo added.

Epshteyn tweeted Wednesday that he was "thankful to be a part of @WeAreSinclair and to have produced poignant and insightful commentary for these last two plus years."

"I look forward to continuing to work with this great company," he added.

Sinclair did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

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The company, known for its right-leaning bent, is one of the largest owners of local TV stations in the country.

It faced criticism from some media figures including "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver over the Epshteyn segments.

In one instance last year, hosts were required to read statements that condemned "irresponsible, one-sided news stories" at the national level.

"I felt like a POW recording a message," one Sinclair journalist told CNN at the time of the must-run script.

Updated at 2:59 p.m.