Sinclair Broadcast Group, the media company that aggressively used its 57 television stations to distribute lies about John Kerry and did everything it could to make sure George W. Bush won re-election in 2004, is on the verge of bankruptcy.
In a regulatory filing today, Sinclair executives admitted that they don't have enough cash on hand to meet the company's debt obligations, and that creditors could force the company into bankruptcy. It lost $85 million in the first quarter, owing largely to the cratering in automotive and retail advertising. It's got roughly $11 million in the bank and $1.3 billion in outstanding debt.
Sinclair is run by right-wing ideologues who refused to let the company's stations air a Nightline broadcast that recited the names of the Iraq war dead (there were just 700 at the time), insisted on pre-empting network programming two weeks before the 2004 election to air Stolen Honor, a "documentary" accusing John Kerry of betraying Vietnam POWs, and gave executive Mark Hyman a platform for commentaries that accused NPR of "aiding and abetting the enemy" for reporting on civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
The upside of the total decimation of the broadcast media business is that people like that will lose their jobs. Sinclair has scheduled a conference call with its creditors today at 3 p.m.