Sinclair, Eyeing Growth, Hires Former FCC Advisor for Washington DC Office

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., which is buying Allbritton Communications television stations including KATV-TV, Channel 7, has hired a former FCC advisor for its new Washington D.C. office, according to TVSpy:

Sinclair Broadcasting Group has announced the hiring of Rebecca Hanson as senior vice president, Strategy and Policy.

Hanson, who comes to the station group from the Media Bureau of the FCC where she was senior adviser, Broadcast Spectrum, will be responsible for starting up a new Washington, D.C. office for Sinclair “dedicated to a broad range of policy and business matters.”

Sinclair is still awaiting FCC and Department of Justice approval of its $985 million deal to buy the Allbritton properties, including a 24-hour cable news station in the nation's capital. The approval process has been deplayed, in part, by the government shutdown in October, but the deal has also  drawn formal complaints the cable industry, a media watchdog and other nonprofits.

Some of the complaints center on how Sinclair gets around ownership caps to control multiple television stations in a market through "shared services" or "joint sales agreements."

Sinclair has said it complies with "the law and regulations of the FCC." In making today's announcement, Sinclair CEO David Smith said the appointment was made with more company growth in mind:

As Sinclair continues to grow into the nation’s largest television station group, we need a presence in Washington to navigate the challenges and opportunities that we will face in the coming years. Rebecca’s experience at the FCC and in the wireless and media industries makes her uniquely qualified to lead this office.