Sinclair-FCC

Josh Israel filed this request with the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America.
Tracking # FCC-2017-000561
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Josh Israel

Dear Sir or Madam:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records: All communications between executives of and lobbyists from Sinclair Broadcast Group (including Rebecca Hanson, Doron Gorsheim, David Dennison Smith, Christopher S. Ripley, Barry M. Faber, David Gibber, John Solomon, and David B. Amy) and the FCC's leadership (including Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, Matthew Berry, Nick Degani, Nathan Leamer, Alison Nemeth, and Brendan Carr), between November 9, 2016 and today.

As a representative of the news media I am only required to pay for the direct cost of duplication after the first 100 pages. Through this request, I am gathering information on the possibility of the FCC altering or waiving media ownership limits. That is of current interest to the public as numerous media reports (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-08/new-tv-rules-under-gop-led-fcc-could-lead-to-m-a-free-for-all, https://www.bna.com/trumps-fcc-expected-n57982082852) have indicated this is likely with the new FCC majority and that Sinclair is seeking such a change.

This information is being sought on behalf of ThinkProgress.org (an online news service) for dissemination to the general public and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. I am a reporter with ThinkProgress, an online news site with a national audience seeking these documents entirely for news-gathering purposes.

I would like to receive the information in the following format: electronic.

Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information is in the public interest because it has a huge interest in who owns media outlets, how those limits are set, and the relationship between corporations and the people making those determinations. In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request.

If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. I, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.

As I am making this request as a journalist and this information is of timely value, I would appreciate your communicating with me by email or telephone, rather than by mail, if you have questions regarding this request.

Please provide expedited processing of this request which concerns a matter of urgency. As a journalist, I am primarily engaged in disseminating information. The public has an urgent need for information because the FCC is expected to act in the immediate future in response to Sinclair's requests and without transparency, the public will not know who has been lobbying its leadership on this issue and how. News reports indicate action could come "as soon as April."

I certify that my statements concerning the need for expedited processing are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

I look forward to your reply within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Josh Israel

From: FOIA

Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requester Service Center at the Federal Communications Commission. On December 14, 2016, the Commission adopted an Order amending its rules implementing the FOIA. One of the changes made was that the FCC would no longer accept FOIA requests via facsimile or email. Therefore we are not accepting requests through this email address (FOIA@fcc.gov) and this address will no longer be monitored for incoming requests.

In order to submit this request, please resend it via one of the following two options:

1. You may submit your request electronically through FOIAonline. By accepting submissions in this manner, the FCC seeks to make the processing of FOIA requests more efficient and provide requesters with a means of tracking the status of their request. FOIAonline is easy to use. You can submit a single request as a guest, or sign up as a registered user for additional capabilities. You can access FOIAonline at https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/, choose "Make a FOIA Request" and, using the drop down menu, select Federal Communications Commission.

2. You may send your request via surface mail. If you choose this option you must: (a) write the words "Freedom of Information Act Request" at the top of your letter and on the outside of the mailing envelope, (b) date your request, (c) give us your daytime telephone number and/or daytime e-mail contact address so that our staff can get in touch with you during normal business hours if they have questions, and (d) provide as much information as possible regarding each document you are seeking. You should also specify the maximum search fee that you are prepared to pay for this request. Send your letter to the following address:

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A836
Washington, D.C. 20554

Our apologies for any inconvenience. Should you encounter problems with submitting your request, feel free to contact us at (202) 418-0440.

Sincerely,

Federal Communications Commission
Freedom of Information Act Requester Service Center

From: MuckRock

Dear Sir or Madam:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records: All communications between executives of and lobbyists from Sinclair Broadcast Group (including Rebecca Hanson, Doron Gorsheim, David Dennison Smith, Christopher S. Ripley, Barry M. Faber, David Gibber, John Solomon, and David B. Amy) and the FCC's leadership (including Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, Matthew Berry, Nick Degani, Nathan Leamer, Alison Nemeth, and Brendan Carr), between November 9, 2016 and today.

As a representative of the news media I am only required to pay for the direct cost of duplication after the first 100 pages. Through this request, I am gathering information on the possibility of the FCC altering or waiving media ownership limits. That is of current interest to the public as numerous media reports (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-08/new-tv-rules-under-gop-led-fcc-could-lead-to-m-a-free-for-all, https://www.bna.com/trumps-fcc-expected-n57982082852) have indicated this is likely with the new FCC majority and that Sinclair is seeking such a change.

This information is being sought on behalf of ThinkProgress.org (an online news service) for dissemination to the general public and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. I am a reporter with ThinkProgress, an online news site with a national audience seeking these documents entirely for news-gathering purposes.

I would like to receive the information in the following format: electronic.

Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information is in the public interest because it has a huge interest in who owns media outlets, how those limits are set, and the relationship between corporations and the people making those determinations. In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request.

If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. I, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.

As I am making this request as a journalist and this information is of timely value, I would appreciate your communicating with me by email or telephone, rather than by mail, if you have questions regarding this request.

Please provide expedited processing of this request which concerns a matter of urgency. As a journalist, I am primarily engaged in disseminating information. The public has an urgent need for information because the FCC is expected to act in the immediate future in response to Sinclair's requests and without transparency, the public will not know who has been lobbying its leadership on this issue and how. News reports indicate action could come "as soon as April."

I certify that my statements concerning the need for expedited processing are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

I look forward to your reply within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Josh Israel

From: foia@regulations.gov

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d2812c4fe0)
* Tracking Number: FCC-2017-000561
* Requester Name: Josh Israel
* Date Submitted: 04/28/2017
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: All communications between executives of and lobbyists from Sinclair Broadcast Group and the FCC's leadership.

From: Joanne Wall

Mr. Israel,

Attached is a decision addressing your request for expedited processing of your Freedom of Information Act request submitted on April 28, 2017.

Joanne

Joanne F. Wall
Administrative Law Division
Office of General Counsel
Federal Communications Commission

From: foia@regulations.gov

Your request for Expedited Processing for the FOIA request FCC-2017-000561 has been granted. Additional details for this request are as follows:
* Request Created on: 04/28/2017
* Expedited Disposition Reason: N/A
* Request Long Description: All communications between executives of and lobbyists from Sinclair Broadcast Group and the FCC's Leadership.

From: Joanne Wall

Mr. Israel,

We are in receipt our your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted on April 28, 2017, in which you seek "[a]ll communications between executives of and lobbyists from Sinclair Broadcast Group (including Rebecca Hanson, Doron Gorsheim, David Dennison Smith, Christopher S. Ripley, Barry M. Faber, David Gibber, John Solomon, and David B. Amy) and the FCC's leadership (including Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, Matthew Berry, Nick Degani, Nathan Leamer, Alison Nemeth, and Brendan Carr), between November 9, 2016 and [April 18, 2017]."

It is our policy to conduct searches based on the individuals named in a particular FOIA request. Please confirm that you intend that we conduct a search of the individuals specifically identified in your request. If that is not your intent, please advise me as to any other individuals whom we should include in our search.

Thank you.

Joanne

Joanne F. Wall
Administrative Law Division
Office of General Counsel
Federal Communications Commission

From: Joanne Wall

Mr. Israel,

If we do not hear back from you by May 11, 2015, in response to my email below of May 5, 2017, we will assume that you intend that we conduct a search of the individuals specifically identified in your request.

Joanne

Joanne F. Wall
Administrative Law Division
Office of General Counsel
Federal Communications Commission

From: Joanne Wall

Mr. Israel,

As I did not heard back from you by May 11, 2017, regarding my two emails of May 9, 2017, and May 5, 2017 (see below), we will assume for purposes of FOIA 2017-561 that you intend that we conduct a search of the individuals specifically identified in your request.

Joanne

Joanne F. Wall
Administrative Law Division
Office of General Counsel
Federal Communications Commission

From: Joanne Wall

Mr. Israel,

Attached is a decision addressing your Freedom of Information Act request in FOIA Control Number 2017-000561.

Joanne

Joanne F. Wall
Attorney Advisor
Administrative Law Division
Office of General Counsel
Federal Communications Commission

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