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What crime have I committed?

Armstrong Williams | 3/27/2014, 1:04 a.m.
It is fundamentally flawed to penalize someone for free enterprise and free thought.
Armstrong Williams

More importantly, shared services arrangements have been specifically designed to comply with the FCC’s (duopoly) ownership rules—not, as free press and other critics insist, to circumvent them. Over the course of the 10 years, they have been actively used; both shared services agreements and joint sales agreements have been scrutinized and shaped by the FCC itself. If joint sales agreements and shared services agreements were no longer allowed or ordered to be unwound, my business would be untenable. The public would lose a minority-tinged voice. I would lose an opportunity to own and to succeed. Diversity, in our increasingly diverse country, would be diminished. The detractors are well aware of what the outcome will be despite what they argue. Again, I ask, what crime is it that I have committed?

Without the irreplaceable instrument of joint sales agreements and shared services agreements, it would essentially be impossible for newcomers to broadcast television to even get their feet wet. Put simply, banking institutions require more assurance than an individual’s capital and credit. As made possible by joint sales agreements, sole proprietors like myself are able to gain financing by entering into ownership with a partner (David Smith and Sinclair Broadcast TV Group, Cockeysville, Md.) and a co-signer. Think about it: If you were a loan officer, would you issue a line of credit to an individual alone or to that individual with guaranteed collateral and a partnership with a company already well established? What crime is it that I have committed?

As I have committed no crime, I will continue to fight for this particular corner of the American dream. I hope others will see themselves in my struggle.

Armstrong Williams is owner and manager of Howard Stirk Holdings and editor-in-chief of American Current See magazine. He is on Sirius/XM Power 110, 6-7 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday and S.C WGCV 4-5 p.m. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.