Sinclair to Cut Hundreds of Jobs as It Reels From Pandemic

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Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., the sprawling owner of local TV stations and sports networks, announced plans to eliminate 5% of its workforce, citing the toll of the pandemic across its businesses.

The changes will be companywide, including at its corporate headquarters in Cockeysville, Maryland, Sinclair said on Wednesday. It had 11,600 employees at the end of last year, suggesting the cuts could affect well over 500 workers.

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be felt across all sectors of the economy, something that can have a profound impact on a company as diversified as ours,” Sinclair said in a statement. “From local businesses and advertisers to distributors and partners, no component of our business’s ecosystem has been fully shielded from the impact of the global pandemic.”

Last week, the company gave a particularly bleak outlook for its sports networks, a business it acquired for $9.6 billion less than two years ago. The division has been ravaged by cord cutting, and Sinclair has already had to write it down by billions of dollars.

The shares fell 11% to close at $31.16 on Thursday after the company released its latest earnings and outlook. Debt tied to Diamond Sports Group, Sinclair’s sports broadcast unit, also plunged following the results.

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