WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yesterday, Standard General L.P. filed its Meeting Summary for meetings held on May 10 with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials and staff, as well as representatives of The NewsGuild/NABET-CWA and the United Church of Christ Office Communication, Inc., regarding the company’s proposed acquisition of TEGNA. All four FCC Commissioners were invited to meet with the applicants and deal opponents to ask questions of both Standard General and TEGNA in order to find a path forward from the Commission’s unprecedented inaction on the deal. Regrettably, only the two Republican Commissioners, Commissioner Nathan Simington and Commissioner Brendan Carr, agreed to meet.
During the meetings, the applicants spoke with Commissioners Carr and Simington, focusing on the unprecedented public interest benefits of the transaction, how those benefits have significantly increased even after the Media Bureau referred the transaction to an Administrative Law Judge for further public interest review, and the immense harms continued inaction will cause to the entire broadcast industry. Meeting attendees, including experts in broadcasting, financing, administrative process, and broadcast regulation, highlighted Standard General’s “extraordinary” commitments to expanding news and preserving TEGNA jobs. They also acknowledged the intense shareholder and other pressures public companies like TEGNA face that would prevent current TEGNA from ever making similar commitments, especially as a growing number of media companies announce job reductions in recent months. The applicants also noted the dangerous precedent the FCC’s actions could set not just for future broadcast deals, but for the potential investors, new entrants and lenders that are the economic lifeblood of broadcast stations and who have the option to turn their attention (and money) to other industries lacking the uncertainty and delay the FCC is now injecting into broadcasting if the FCC refuses to hold a vote. In the filing, Standard General again offered an open meeting to Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Geoffrey Starks. You can read the entire legal filing here.
“We have been patient throughout this entire process, and with only ten days left before this deal expires, we urge the FCC to hold an up-or-down vote on our deal before it dies due to FCC inaction,” said Soo Kim, Standard General’s Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer. “At every turn, we have provided transparency and access to the FCC and our recent meetings were no different. This filing demonstrates to the public, and the two FCC commissioners who declined our request for a meeting, that we are committed to investing in local news, increasing diversity, and protecting the jobs of hardworking men and women at TEGNA stations. In light of this filing, we hope the FCC will reconsider their inaction and hold a vote.”
Despite the FCC’s previously stated goal to increase diversity in media ownership, it has refused to hold a vote on the deal in a presumed attempt to kill it entirely. However, public support for Standard General and TEGNA’s efforts to secure a vote is rising. In the last several days, Mayor Eric Adams, the FDNY foundation, Asian Americans Advancing Justice- AAJC, National Action Network, National Urban League, UnidosUS, and senior leaders from both parties have called for the FCC to hold a vote.
Financing for the Standard General - TEGNA deal will expire on May 22.
About Standard General
Standard General was founded in 2007 and manages capital for public and private pension funds, endowments, foundations, and high-net-worth individuals. Standard General is a minority-controlled and operated organization. Mr. Kim is supported by a diverse, highly experienced 17-person team, including seven investment professionals with over 120 years of collective investing experience.