ROH COO Joe Koff Defends Controversial Sinclair Broadcasting ‘Must-Run’ News Spots

joe koff ring of honor sinclair broadcasting roh must read news segments

Sinclair Broadcasting, who own Ring of Honor, has been criticized this year for requiring their local news outlets to air “must-run” segments about controversial topics … but ROH COO Joe Koff doesn’t believe it affects how people look at their wrestling company. 

Koff was interviewed by WrestlingInc’s Nick Hausman and the topic of Sinclair’s “must-read” segments were briefly touched upon while he was promoting this weekend’s Final Battle event.

For those unaware, Sinclair stations aired a segment last month defending the use of tear gas on child migrants attempting to cross the border. The company also required stations to run a segment in June stating the Trump administration’s policy to separate children from their families at the border and place them in detention centers was just a case of “liberal” media getting hysterical.

“That is an overblown, overplayed media kind of fodder that people like to pick on,” Koff told Wresting Inc. “Those situations are so immaterial to the amount of content that we produce, it just gets picked up because people like to pick that stuff up.”

“I could tell you that the number of people who have told me that they would not watch Ring of Honor because we’re owned by Sinclair maybe has been one person in seven years.” Adding, “It has nothing to do with what we do. There’s no politics inside of Ring of Honor as any fan would know. We operate autonomously to that whole scenario.”

Koff does give credit to the Sinclair news department for including ROH talent on their talk shows to promote events, but notes there’s no further involvement between the two arms of the company.

As for the must-run segments, Koff says he doesn’t wish Sinclair would pull back on them.

“You’re talking about commentary, first of all. Not news. Commentary,” he explained. “People have a right to comment. The newspapers do it all the time in their op-ed pieces and their editorial pages. Stations do editorials. Stations do things like that. I just think we get an inordinate amount of press for things like that … that I think are unnecessary.”

Listen to the full interview below (this conversation starts around 1:39:00).