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Sinclair Employees Say Their Contracts Make It Too Expensive to Quit

By Bloomberg.com

Noncompetes, forced arbitration and a liquidated damages clause can equal 40 percent of annual salaryRead full story

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  • Sinclair, the largest broadcaster in the US, drew criticism for making its local anchors across the country read from a script that called out “false news” and the integrity of other media companies. I spoke to employees who weren’t happy about that decision and said they have been wanting to leave for some time. But it would be too expensive. I found out that in some Sinclair Broadcast contracts it says employees would have to pay the company up to 40% of their annual compensation if they left before

    Sinclair, the largest broadcaster in the US, drew criticism for making its local anchors across the country read from a script that called out “false news” and the integrity of other media companies. I spoke to employees who weren’t happy about that decision and said they have been wanting to leave for some time. But it would be too expensive. I found out that in some Sinclair Broadcast contracts it says employees would have to pay the company up to 40% of their annual compensation if they left before the terms of their agreement were up. I wrote this story with my colleagues Rebecca Greenfield and Gerry Smith.

  • Jordyn Holman found out that Sinclair anchors can’t leave their posts because they would have to pay to leave. For those who don’t know, local TV does not pay well. The starting salary for reporters is around $20-30k. Anchors make no more than $60-70k, according to Glassdoor.

    These are not wealthy people, and a penalty of 10s of thousands of dollars can be devastating. This whole incident just shows that journalists sometimes don’t have a say and are at the whims of others with power.

    For those

    Jordyn Holman found out that Sinclair anchors can’t leave their posts because they would have to pay to leave. For those who don’t know, local TV does not pay well. The starting salary for reporters is around $20-30k. Anchors make no more than $60-70k, according to Glassdoor.

    These are not wealthy people, and a penalty of 10s of thousands of dollars can be devastating. This whole incident just shows that journalists sometimes don’t have a say and are at the whims of others with power.

    For those who haven’t been following along, here’s a link to the whole Sinclair anchors railing on “fake news” incident: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/02/598794433/video-reveals-power-of-sinclair-as-local-news-anchors-recite-script-in-unison (Warning, it’s kind of creepy.)

  • Who is an employment lawyer? Is that in fact enforceable in every state?

  • As a journalist, this is an incredible look into contracting and how companies influence reporting. Jordyn got actual contracts from employees and showed what can happen when employees discuss their compensation.

  • These terms are egregious. But very smart if you want to lock people up so that they can read your propaganda.

  • One of the anchors of a Sinclair station in one of the controversial videos (Mary Nam at KOMO) tweeted "this isn't funny at all. None of it. When media giants gobble up local news stations, there are repercussions."

  • This is turning me into a doomsday prepper.

  • We are in the aftermath of a bloodless coup

  • Therefore, those that "complain" are making such a comfortable living that they can dispose of their "integrity".

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