Sinclair Broadcasting Said to Be in Talks With Ex-Sony TV Chief Steve Mosko
LOS ANGELES — Now that Sinclair Broadcast Group has reached a deal to acquire Tribune Media and create a local television giant with 223 stations, it is talking to one of Hollywood’s most seasoned small-screen executives about joining the company to expand its programming.
Steve Mosko, the former chairman of Sony Pictures Television, is in preliminary discussions with Sinclair about a senior management position, according to two people briefed on the conversations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private talks. The discussions were first reported by The Financial Times.
Mr. Mosko got his start in the television business in the late 1970s at a Baltimore station owned by Julian Smith, Sinclair’s founder, and he has remained close to members of the Smith family, who continue to control the company.
Mr. Mosko is best known for rebuilding Sony’s television business after it was left for dead in a 2001 downsizing. By the time Mr. Mosko left last year, television was making more money for Sony than the company’s film division. Sony produces broadcast network hits like “Kevin Can Wait,” critical darlings like “Better Call Saul” and syndicated game shows like “Jeopardy.”
Mr. Mosko also oversaw an array of highly profitable television channels overseas.
Sinclair agreed to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion last month, besting suitors including Nexstar and 21st Century Fox. With the deal, which is expected to close later this year, Sinclair would reach more than 70 percent of American households and control WGN America. Opponents of the merger say the combined company would wield too much power.
Some analysts and executives have speculated about whether Sinclair — which has shown a willingness to use stations to advance a conservative political agenda — might use WGN to compete with Fox News. Sinclair has dismissed such speculation.