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Encyclopedia > Cunningham Broadcasting

Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation is an owner of television stations in the United States. The company currently owns six stations--four affiliated with Fox Broadcasting Company (one of which also carries MyNetworkTV on a digital subchannel), one affiliated with MyNetworkTV and one currently affiliated with The WB Television Network (which will be succeeded by The CW Television Network in mid-September 2006). A television station is a type of broadcast station that broadcasts both audio and video to television receivers in a particular area. ... The Fox Broadcasting Company, usually referred to as just Fox (the company itself prefers the capitalized version FOX), is a television network in the United States. ... My Network TV is an upcoming television network in the United States, owned by Rupert Murdochs News Corporation, which is scheduled to launch on Tuesday, September 5, 2006. ... The WB Television Network, casually referred to as The WB, or sometimes as The Frog (referring to the networks former mascot, the animated character Michigan J. Frog), is a television network in the United States, founded as a joint venture between the Warner Bros. ... The CW Television Network, or more casually The CW, is a new television network in the United States set to launch for the 2006-07 television season. ...


Cunningham has very close ties to Sinclair Broadcast Group. All six Cunningham stations are operated by Sinclair under local marketing agreements. In addition, nearly all of Cunningham's stock is controlled by the Smith family, owners and founders of Sinclair. Based on these arrangements, Cunningham is simply a shell corporation that Sinclair uses to evade Federal Communications Commission regulations on ownership. The Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) NASDAQ: SBGI is the operator of the largest number of local television stations in the United States with a total of 59 stations across the country in 38 (mostly) small and medium markets. ... PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS... A shell corporation is defined in Barrons Finance & Investment Handbook as a company that is incorporated but has no significant assets or operations. ... The FCCs official seal. ...

Contents


History

Cunningham was founded in 1994 as Glencairn, Ltd. It was headed by Edwin Edwards, a former Sinclair executive. Edwards had been general manager of one of Sinclair's original stations, WPTT-TV in Pittsburgh. Sinclair sold WPTT to Edwards after Sinclair bought rival WPGH-TV, but continued to operate the station under a local marketing agreement. 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal. // Events January Bill Clinton January 1 : North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect. ... City nickname: The Steel City Location in the state of Pennsylvania Founded 1758 Mayor Tom Murphy (Dem) Area  - Total  - Water 151. ... WPGH-TV Fox53 is the FOX television affiliate broadcasting in Pittsburgh. ... PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS PENIS...


The initial capital was supplied by Carolyn Smith, wife of Sinclair founder Julian Smith and mother of current Sinclair CEO David Smith. Carolyn Smith also controlled 70% of Glencairn's stock. However, Glencairn held itself out as a minority-owned broadcaster (Edwards is black), gaining instant favor with the FCC.


Glencairn's initial purchase set the stage for its future dealings. In 1994, Sinclair merged with Abry Communications, which owned WNUV in Baltimore. WNUV had been the principal rival to Sinclair's flagship station, WBFF. Sinclair could not keep both stations because FCC rules at the time did not allow common ownership of two stations in a single market. Accordingly, Glencairn bought WNUV from Sinclair, and Sinclair took over WNUV's operations under an LMA. However, due to the Smiths' controlling interest in Glencairn, Sinclair effectively had a duopoly in Baltimore--and had all but emasculated its principal rival. WNUV (WB 54) is the WB affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland, broadcasting channel 54 (analog) and channel 40 (digital). ... Flag Seal Nickname: Monument City, Charm City, Mob Town, B-more Motto: Get In On It (formerly The City That Reads and The Greatest City in America; BELIEVE is not the official motto but rather a specific campaign) Location Location of Baltimore in Maryland Coordinates , Government Country State County United... WBFF, FOX45 is the Fox affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland, broadcasting on channel 45 (digital channel 46). ... A true duopoly is a form of oligopoly where only two producers exist in a market. ...


Glencairn eventually bought ten more stations, and Sinclair controlled all their operations via LMAs. Due to Glencairn's financial structure (the Smiths eventually bought 97% of Glencairn's stock), Sinclair effectively had duopolies in all 11 markets. FCC rules at the time did not allow common ownership of two stations in a single market. Among the more notable purchases: A true duopoly is a form of oligopoly where only two producers exist in a market. ...

  • As part of the Abry merger, Sinclair also acquired WNRW-TV (now WXLV-TV) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It simulcast its programming on separately-owned WGGT-TV in Greensboro. Glencairn bought WGGT from its previous owner, ended the simulcast and turned WGGT into an affiliate of the fledgling UPN as WUPN-TV (now WMYV).
  • In 1995, Glencairn bought WRDC-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina and gave Sinclair control of its operations via an LMA. Sinclair already owned WLFL in Raleigh. In effect, Sinclair now had duopolies in two of North Carolina's largest markets.
  • In 1996, Sinclair merged with River City Broacasting, which owned WSYX in Columbus, Ohio. This initially posed a problem for Sinclair, as it already owned WTTE in Columbus. Sinclair decided to keep the higher-rated WSYX and sold WTTE to Glencairn. Sinclair continued to operate WTTE through an LMA. River City also owned WLOS in Asheville, North Carolina and satellite station WAXA-TV in Anderson, South Carolina. Sinclair sold WAXA to Glencairn, who ended the simulcast and turned WAXA into an independent, later changing the calls to WFBC-TV and later WBSC-TV.
  • In 1997, Sinclair purchased the broadcasting properties of Heritage Media, which included WCHS-TV in Charleston, West Virginia. Sinclair already owned WVAH-TV in Charleston, but opted to keep the longer-established WCHS and sold WVAH to Glencairn.
  • In 1998, Sinclair and Glencairn teamed up to buy five stations from Sullivan Broadcasting. Glencairn simply bought the licenses while Sinclair bought the stations' other assets. Sinclair then leased the non-license assets back to Glencairn.

WXLV-TV, ABC45 based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is the ABC affiliate serving the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point designated market area. ... Flag Seal Nickname: Twin City Location Location in North Carolina Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States North Carolina Forsyth County Founded Incorporated 1889 1913 Mayor Allen Joines (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 283. ... Greensboro is the name of some places in the United States of America: Greensboro, Alabama Greensboro, Florida Greensboro, Georgia Greensboro, Maryland Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro, Pennsylvania Greensboro, Vermont This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... UPN (which originally stood for the United Paramount Network) is a television network in the United States, owned by CBS Corporation, which also owns the more widespread CBS network. ... WMYV (UPN 48) is the UPN television affiliate serving the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, North Carolina designated market area. ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... WRDC-TV, channel 28, is currently the UPN affiliate in the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, North Carolina (commonly known as The Triangle) television market. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Oaks Location Map of Wake County, North Carolina Coordinates: Government Country State County United States North Carolina Wake County Founded 1792 Mayor Charles Meeker (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 299. ... WLFL, channel 22, is the WB Television Network affiliate for the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, North Carolina television market. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... WSYX, channel six, is the ABC television affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Arch City The Discovery City Location Location in the state of Ohio Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Ohio Franklin, Delaware, and Fairfield Mayor Michael B. Coleman (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 550. ... WTTE, FOX28 is the Fox television affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. ... WLOS channel 13 is the ABC television affiliate in Asheville, North Carolina. ... Asheville City Hall. ... Anderson is a city located in Anderson County, South Carolina. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... WCHS TV is the ABC affiliate for Charleston/Huntington West Virginia. ... Official website: www. ... WVAH-TV is the Fox network affiliate in the Huntington / Charleston, West Virginia television market. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...

The 1999-2001 dispute

In 1999, the FCC finally relaxed its ownership rules and allowed one person to own two stations in a market starting in 2001. Ironically, this development brought the Sinclair-Glencairn arrangement to light for the first time. At the time, Glencairn was getting ready to buy KOCB in Oklahoma City, where Sinclair already owned KOKH. When the FCC relaxed its rules, Sinclair simply replaced Glencairn as the buyer for KOCB. Glencairn then announced plans to sell five of its stations to Sinclair outright. 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... KOCB (The WB Oklahoma City) is the WB affiliate for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ... Downtown Oklahoma City The State Capitol of Oklahoma From The South Motto: Nickname: Capital of the New Century Founded 1889 Incorporated County Oklahoma County Cleveland County Canadian County Borough {{{borough}}} Parrish {{{parrish}}} Mayor Mick Cornett Area  - Total  - Water 1,608. ... The Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) is the operator of the largest number of local television stations in the United States, with a total of 62 stations across the country in 39 different broadcast markets. ...


This move led Jesse Jackson and others to file challenges to the proposed transactions. In the course of subsequent hearings, it emerged that Edwards did not know how much debt Glencairn would assume when the deals closed. This led FCC Commissioner Michael Copps to question the deal's integrity, as well as Glencairn's decision-making process. It later emerged that Glencairn was to be paid for the proposed purchases with Sinclair stock, and that the Smiths controlled almost all of Glencairn's stock. Eventually, the FCC slapped Sinclair with a $40,000 fine for illegally controlling Glencairn. However, it took no further action, leading Copps to blast the decision as a backhanded endorsement of Sinclair's tactics. Jesse Jackson Jesse Louis Jackson (born October 8, 1941) is an American politician, civil rights activist, and Baptist minister. ... Michael Copps is currently one of the United States FCC commissioners. ...


Glencairn becomes Cunningham

In 2001, Glencairn tried to merge with Sinclair outright. However, the FCC rejected the deal because six of Glencairn's stations--WNUV, WVAH, WTTE, WBSC, WRGT-TV in Dayton, Ohio and WTAT-TV in Charleston, South Carolina were located in markets where Sinclair could not legally have duopolies. The reasons stated: WRGT-TV is a broadcast television station in Dayton, Ohio affiliated with the Fox network. ... Nickname: Gem City Coordinates: Country  State   County United States  Ohio   Montgomery Founded Incorporated April 1, 1796 1805 Mayor Rhine L. McLin Area    - City 146. ... WTAT-TV, Fox 24, is the Fox television affiliate in Charleston, South Carolina. ... Nickname: The Holy City, The Palmetto City, Chucktown Motto: Aedes Mores Juraque Curat (She cares for her temples, customs, and rights) Location of Charleston in South Carolina. ...

  • WNUV: Baltimore, despite being the 24th market, has only seven commercial stations. The FCC requires a market to have eight unique station owners once a duopoly is formed, not counting low-power stations.
  • WTTE: Sinclair-owned WSYX is the third-rated station in Columbus while WTTE is the fourth-rated station. FCC rules do not allow common ownership of two of the four highest-rated stations in a single market. However, Columbus, despite its size, has only seven full-power stations--too few to allow a duopoly in any case.
  • WBSC: The FCC already permitted Media General, owner of WSPA-TV, to buy LMA partner WASV (now WYCW), and a Sinclair purchase of WBSC (now WMYA-TV) would leave only seven unique owners in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville market.
  • WVAH: Sinclair-owned WCHS is the 2nd-rated station in the Huntington-Charleston market, while WVAH is #4.
  • WRGT: Dayton has only seven full-power stations--too few to allow duopolies. Plus, Sinclair already owned WKEF, the #3 station, while WRGT is #4.
  • WTAT: Sinclair sold WTAT to Glencairn in 1998 after buying the owner of WMMP. It could not repurchase WTAT because Charleston has only six full-power stations--too few to allow duopolies.

Sinclair, however, was able to buy five of Glencairn's stations, and Glencairn subsequently changed its name to Cunningham Broadcasting. However, nearly all of Cunningham's stock is owned by trusts in the name of the children of the Smith brothers, so Sinclair still effectively owns all six Cunningham stations. This situation led Sinclair Media Watch, a grassroots organization based in Asheville, to file informal objections when WLOS and WBSC's licenses came up for renewal in 2004. However, as of 2006, the FCC has taken no further action against Sinclair or Cunningham. Media General NYSE: MEG is a media company based in the Southeastern United States. ... WSPA-TV is a CBS television affiliate based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. ... WYCW is the UPN affiliate licensed to Asheville, North Carolina, serving the Greenville, SC/Spartanburg, SC/Asheville television market. ... WMYA-TV is the MyNetworkTV television affiliate station for the Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville television market. ... WKEF is a broadcast television station in Dayton, Ohio, affiliated with the ABC network. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... WMMP is the UPN television affiliate in Charleston, South Carolina. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


External links

  • Sinclair and the Public Airwaves (from Sinclair Watch)
  • Sinclair Media Watch challenge to WLOS and WBSC licenses

 
 

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