NBC News first reported on Sinclair’s announcement, in which the station group said that it will be devoting more resources to investigative journalism. This Friday will be the final commentary segment featuring Epshteyn and Ameshia Cross, who was hired earlier this year as a Democratic counterweight.
Epshteyn, who has the title of chief political correspondent, is remaining with the company to work on other efforts.
“I’m thankful to be a part of @WeAreSinclair and to have produced poignant and insightful commentary for these last two plus years. I look forward to continuing to work with this great company,” Epshteyn wrote on Twitter.
Sinclair is among the largest station groups, with 193 stations. The commentaries were mandatory segments for newscasts across the country.
“We have to shine a light on our value proposition every quarter hour, in every newscast,” the company said in a statement to its staff, according to NBC News. “Therefore, we will be expanding our local investigative journalism footprint in our daily newscasts. We are excited to dedicate more time in our newscasts to report on critical and relevant issues.”
Epshteyn’s commentaries at times generated some controversy that drew a response from the company. After one November commentary on immigration, in which he referred to an attempted migrant “invasion” at the Mexican border, the company tweeted that “the opinions expressed in this segment do not reflect the views of Sinclair Broadcast Group.” The company added that the pieces are labeled as commentary and “we also offer our stations reporting from the Beltway and beyond that are not partisan or biased in any way.”
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