- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 20, 2004

BALTIMORE (AP) — Shares of Sinclair Broadcast Group rebounded yesterday after the company said it would only use parts of a documentary critical of Sen. John Kerry in a program it initially said would air on all of its stations.

Shares of the suburban Baltimore company rose 79 cents, or 12.6 percent, to close at $7.05 yesterday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares had dropped more than 16 percent since plans for the show were first announced earlier this month.

Sinclair had announced earlier that all of its 62 stations, many in swing states, would carry the program. The decision prompted protests that the company was abusing its public trust, calls for advertising boycotts, and threats of legal action from shareholders concerned about how the decision would affect their investments.

The decision had also prompted several advertisers to ask Sinclair not to run their commercials in or around the program.

U.S. Cellular Corp., the nation’s eighth-largest wireless telecommunications provider, has asked Sinclair affiliates not to run its commercials two hours before, during and after the program’s airing, said President and CEO John E. Rooney. Nationwide Insurance said it “plans not to advertise during this perceived politically motivated program if Sinclair Media elects to broadcast it without fair and equal opportunity for response.” Regis Corp., an operator of haircutting salons, said it has asked Sinclair not to run any of its ads near or during the program.

Company officials did not respond yesterday to calls for comment.

Late Tuesday, Sinclair announced that parts of the film “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,” will be shown during “A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media,” a program examining the use of documentaries to influence elections.

The company said the show will air tomorrow on 40 of the company’s stations.

Sinclair said executives met recently with senior Kerry campaign officials but the campaign has declined to participate in the program.

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