"Bottom Line With Boris," doesn't even sound like a real news segment. It sounds like something made up by the Onion News Network. But it's real — at least in the sense it exists. And if the FCC approves Sinclair media's rule-fudging acquisition of WREG, former special assistant to President Donald Trump, Boris Epshteyn will be popping up on Memphis TV screens several times a week.
For whatever it's worth, Mr. Bottom Line is also the sixth person questioned by the House Intelligence Committee in its ongoing Russia probe. Throughout the campaign Epshteyn was pro-Putin and his financially conflicted commentary mirrored Russian propaganda on the Ukraine. He parted ways with Trump in March, but continues to stand by his man in his private sector editorials.
This week Politico broke news that Sinclair tripled its weekly order for must-air "Bottom Line with Boris" segments.
Memphis won't be alone. If/when the Sinclair deal goes down — and there's no reason to believe it won't — 72-percent of all Americans will live in a Sinclair market. It's a big deal, to borrow from Vox, "Because local news programs are some of the most-watched shows in America."
"Most watched" translates to 4-times the combined audience of the top three cable news stations — CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
While national news outlets like CNN become targets in political info-wars, local news delivers the eyes and ears of the nation, and Trump-entangled Sinclair is on the verge of acquiring Memphis' top-rated station.
Right now WREG's still a Tribune Media property. Should that change prepare yourself for commentary like this.