Sinclair Increases Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

Sinclair Broadcast
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sinclair Broadcast

The move is expected to give raises to about 15 percent of the 9,500 workers at one of the nation's largest TV broadcast companies.

Sinclair Broadcast Group on Wednesday said it will set a new $15 per hour minimum wage for its employees beginning Dec. 29.

The move is expected to give raises to about 15 percent of the 9,500 workers at Sinclair, one of the nation's largest TV broadcast companies, operating 191 stations in 89 markets in addition to 23 regional sports networks.

The nationwide minimum wage is $7.25, though many states require more. In California, for example, the minimum wage beginning in January will be $12 an hour for companies employing fewer than 26 employees and $13 for those that employ more.

Sinclair is headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, where the minimum wage is $11 an hour but poised to increase to $15 in 2025. The company operates in 35 states. Sinclair's minimum-wage increase applies to both full- and part-time employees.

"We recognize that we would be nothing without our hardworking and dedicated employees," Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said in a statement.

The minimum wage increase comes after similar employee-retaining moves taken by the company, including an increase in the matching money it pays into retirement accounts and a reduction in waiting periods for benefits to kick in.

Sinclair's commentary at its news outlets is generally considered conservative, politically, and the company routinely shoots down speculation it will launch a national product that would compete with Fox News. The company came under fire for its "must-run" commentary segments from Boris Epshteyn, a former aide to President Donald Trump, and it said last week it would be dropping the segments to focus on investigative journalism.

In August, Sinclair completed a $9.6 billion acquisition of 21 RSNs that Disney had acquired when it purchased most of the assets of 21st Century Fox.