Among the meatiest bits of speculation is that the Comcast deal for NBC would impact network affiliated stations - and that would impact local news. So the cable giant issued a memo saying basically that it's all for local news and public affairs programming on the network's owned and operated stations (that includes KNBC). Significantly, the memo also said that "the combined company remains committed to continuing to provide free over-the-air television through its 0&0 stations and through local broadcast affiliates across the nation." Clearly, Comcast wants federal regulators to see this memo. There's been a widespread belief that eventually all programming will land on cable and not over the air. From the memo:
As we negotiate and renew agreements with our broadcast affiliates, we will continue our cooperative dialogue with our affiliates toward a business model to sustain free over-the-air service that can be workable in the evolving economic and technological environment. The NBC owned-and-operated broadcast stations ("0&OS ") have a demonstrated record of quality local programming in major markets around the country. Comcast also has demonstrated its commitment to local programming, including sports and public affairs, and in providing support for public, educational, and government (PEG) access programming. We want to use the combined resources of NBC and Comcast to strengthen localism
Keep in mind that mega-merger announcements are a little like marriage proposals: The participants promise to do a lot of things - and then stuff happens. Just ask the folks at AOL and Time Warner.