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TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Global Strategy Group


DATE: Tuesday, May 1, 2018
RE: NEW POLL RESULTS: IOWANS OPPOSE SINCLAIR DEAL, SAY GRASSLEY MUST HOLD HEARINGS

Senator Chuck Grassley’s constituents feel strongly about stopping Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed takeover
of Tribune Media and its local TV stations, to the extent that Grassley’s positive reputation in the state plummets
when Iowans consider a scenario where he doesn’t hold Senate hearings to review the deal. Iowans have deep
concerns about several elements of the proposed merger, including the facts that Sinclair would consolidate
greater control over local Iowa newscasts and that Grassley’s Senate Judiciary Committee has not held hearings to
question experts, regulators, or company officials about the deal.

Key findings from Global Strategy Group’s recent poll of 604 registered Iowa voters are as follows:

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS:


• Iowans are strongly opposed to Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed takeover of local stations. Voters
oppose the proposed Sinclair/Tribune merger by a 62-point margin (10% support/72% oppose), with roughly
half (49%) “strongly” opposed. Opposition also extends across party lines, with 78% of Democrats, 72% of
Independents, and 67% of Republicans disapproving of the deal.
• Iowans believe it is critical for Sen. Grassley to call for Senate hearings to review the Sinclair deal. Nearly
nine in ten Iowans (87%) believe it is important for Grassley to call for hearings on the deal, including 62% who
say it’s “very” important. Again, Iowans’ attitudes on the issue extend across party lines, with 90% of
Democrats, 86% of Independents, and 86% of Republicans all saying that it is important.
• Sen. Grassley stands to lose the good will of Iowa voters if he fails to hold hearings on the deal. Grassley
currently holds a positive favorability rating among Iowans (51% favorable/35% unfavorable) but moves deep
underwater (17% favorable/69% unfavorable) when Iowans are asked to consider how they would feel about
him if he did not hold hearings on the deal.
• Iowans have a litany of concerns about the deal, from Sinclair’s history of firing local news employees to the
degree of control the company would have over local broadcasts:
o 90% are concerned (including 76% who find it “very concerning”) with Sinclair’s history of requiring local
newscasters to read political talking points, and firing reporters for not following their political directions;
o 88% are concerned (66% very concerned) that Sinclair would control stations in 72% of U.S. households
and exceed the long-standing 39% federal cap for broadcasters;
o 87% are concerned (63% very concerned) that one East Coast company would control up to 67% of local
newscasts in parts of Iowa and 40% of local newscasts in the state’s largest market;
o 85% are concerned (63% very concerned) that Sinclair has fired local news employees and closed
newsrooms after taking over local stations;
o 84% are concerned (60% very concerned) that Sinclair has a history of cutting off access to college sports
and reporting on weather, traffic, and other local issues to use it as leverage in negotiations with cable
and satellite TV operators;
o 84% are concerned (56% very concerned) that there have been no hearings in the U.S. Senate to examine
the proposed deal and question experts, regulators, or company officials about it.

ABOUT THIS POLL

Global Strategy Group conducted a survey of 604 registered voters in Iowa from April 25-29, 2018. The results have a margin of error of
+/-4.0% and care has been taken to ensure the geographic and demographic divisions of electorate are properly represented.

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