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Emmis countersues Sinclair

Sale of St. Louis stations sparks suit

Emmis Communications has filed a countersuit against Sinclair Broadcast Group regarding Sinclair’s broadcast properties in St. Louis.

The suit is in response to one Sinclair filed in January against Emmis and former Sinclair exec Barry Baker.

Emmis had acquired from Baker the right to buy Sinclair’s TV and radio stations in St. Louis, and had been attempting to buy the outlets for $366.5 million.

At the time he departed from Sinclair, Baker or his designee was given the right to acquire the St. Louis properties. But according to Sinclair, Emmis “was not a proper designee” and that Baker’s right to purchase the stations “is unenforceable due to vagueness.”

Emmis’ countersuit denies Sinclair’s allegations and asks a Baltimore County Circuit Court to order Sinclair to complete the St. Louis sale to Emmis. The company filed the lawsuit Friday. The suit also seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

“Emmis has alleged, among other things, that (Sinclair) failed to act in good faith in connection with its obligations to Emmis,” a company statement said.

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