Some Texas TV stations are owned by a pro-Trump media giant

by | Aug 21, 2019 | Media, Politics

Two months ago, dozens of local TV news stations circulated a story asking readers to sign a “digital birthday card” for President Trump. The birthday card asked readers for their email and zip code, and then redirected them to donate to Trump. 

It’s just one of the latest examples of how Sinclair Broadcast Group, a right-wing and pro-Trump media conglomerate, is using its fleet of 193 local media companies to insert partisan political talking points into the “news,” and in the case of the birthday card, provide direct resources and information to the Trump campaign. 

But it’s not just the occasional pro-Trump item that finds its way into the websites and social media platforms of local news stations. Sinclair mandates stations to air “must-run” segments that favor the White House.

News of this broke last year when Deadspin edited together dozens of local news stations parroting the political talking points handed down from corporate.

Texas is home to Sinclair broadcasting stations, including CBS Austin. They are:

  • KTXS-TV (Abilene)
  • KTES-LD (Abilene)
  • KVII-TV (Amarillo)
  • KVIH-TV (Amarillo)
  • KEYE-TV (Austin)
  • KBTV-TV (Beaumont)
  • KFDM (Beaumont)
  • KSCC (Corpus Christi)
  • KXPX-LP (Corpus Christi)
  • KTOV-LP (Corpus Christi)
  • KDBC-TV (El Paso)
  • KFOX-TV (El Paso)
  • KGBT-TV (Harlingen)
  • KTXE-LD (San Angelo)
  • KMYS (San Antonio)
  • WOAI-TV (San Antonio)
  • KABB (San Antonio)

Boris Epshteyn is Sinclair’s chief political commentator and a former Trump campaign adviser. On Tuesday, at least 20 stations ran a segment with Epshteyn where he connected mass shootings to violent video games. Last week, in a segment aired on at least 46 stations, Epshteyn defended the Trump administration after a series of ICE raids in Mississippi arrested 680 factory workers. And following Trump’s tweet urging four members of Congress, all U.S. citizens and all women of color, to “go back” to their countries, Epshteyn backed the president. 

fernando@texassignal.com | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at fernando@texassignal.com

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