Sinclair Broadcast Group hired Boris Epshteyn, who previously served as special assistant and campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, as its new chief political analyst.
Epshteyn will provide analysis on political stories for Sinclair’s 173 television stations in 81 markets, which broadcast on 514 channels and have affiliations with all the major networks.
“Over a year ago, we made a commitment to provide additional political content that goes beyond the podium to provide a true point of difference with additional context,” said Scott Livingston, vice president of news for Sinclair Television Group, in a statement. “We understand the frustration with government and traditional institutions. Mr. Epshteyn brings a unique perspective to the political conversation and will play a pivotal role in our mission to dissect the stories in the headlines and to better inform and empower our viewers.”
“I am honored and grateful to be joining the distinguished and extremely talented team at Sinclair Broadcast Group,” said Epshteyn in a statement. “I greatly admire Sinclair's mission to provide thoughtful impactful reporting throughout the country. I look forward to contributing my voice to the ongoing dialogue with the American people.”
Prior to joining Sinclair, Epshteyn managed the surrogate operation of the Trump White House and administration, and appeared as an on-air spokesman for the administration.
The hiring move from Sinclair comes months after the broadcaster was accused in a Politico report of trading coverage of the Trump campaign in return for more access. After the report surfaced in December, Livingston was quick to deny it, saying that Sinclair offered equal amounts of air time to both Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.
“We offered the Clinton campaign the same interview opportunities offered to the Trump campaign, on a regular basis throughout the election,” said Livingston in a statement to FierceBroadcasting. “We reached out to the Clinton team numerous times, but they chose not to participate. We wanted to offer our local viewers direct access to both candidates to talk about issues that matter to them. We were disappointed that the Clinton campaign declined our invitations.”