Sinclair Chief Compares Controversial Promos to Late-Night Programs

David Smith, the chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group, defended his company’s promotional scripts that were sent to its affiliates nationwide as “must-runs” and likened them to late-night comedy programs. “Not that you would print it, but do you understand that every local TV station is required to ‘must run’ from its network their content, and they don’t own me,” Smith told The New York Times. “That would be all their news programming and other shows such as late-night talk, which is just late-night political so-called comedy.” The promos have fueled criticisms that the right-leaning broadcaster was attempting to echo President Trump’s attacks on the mainstream media. But Smith is standing by them. “Do you understand that as a practical matter every word that comes out of the mouths of network news people is scripted and approved by someone?” he added.