Crux of the dispute, IMHO, is this.
Tribune either did not do its homework, or thought all the internet conspiracy theorist stuff about the FCC pandering to Sinclair was real.
Sinclair tried to approach this merger the same way it has grown its company for 20 + years. The law says no company can own more than 1 of the Big 4 stations in the same market. Sinclair ignores this law by having dummy companies "own" its second Big 4 station. Some of these are such shams the "owners" have been dead for 15 years.
The FCC called BS, and Sinclair, faced with actually obeying the law, lost interest.
Hopefully the FCC will FINALLY enforce the law and VOID and SEIZE Sinclair's licenses and resell these to others, applying the $$ to the national debt.