Standard General To Acquire Tegna in $8.6 Billion Deal

RE-PUBLISHED FROM Broadcasting and Cable, February 22, 2022. Written by Jon Lafayette. Standard General To Acquire Tegna in $8.6 Billion Deal | Broadcasting+Cable (nexttv.com)

TEGNA locally owns WBIR-TV

Deb McDermott to become CEO, Cox Media expected to get 3 stations

Tegna said it has agreed to be acquired by Standard General in a deal worth $8.6 billion, including the assumption of $3.2 billion in debt.

Tegna shareholders will get $24 for the shares and Apollo Global’s Cox Media Group will acquires Tegna stations in Dallas, Houston and Austin. 

Apollo will own securities in the new privately held company. Those securities will be non-voting and not attributable.

Standard General, led by investor Soo Kim, has been pursuing Tegna for two years, criticizing the company’s management. It lost a proxy fight aimed at gaining seats on Tegna’s board last year. Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group also was reportedly bidding for Tegna.

Tegna owns 64 television stations in 51 U.S. markets. It also owns multicast networks True Crime Network, Twist and Quest and advanced-advertising company Premion.

Earlier: Tegna Has Received Offers To Buy Company 

“As long-term investors in the television broadcasting industry, we have a deep admiration for Tegna and the stations it operates and, in particular, for Tegna’s talented employees and their commitment to serving their communities,” said Kim, founding partner of Standard General.  

When the transaction closes veteran broadcaster Deb McDermott will become CEO and Kim will serve as chairman of a new board of directors. McDermott, who has been head of Young Broadcasting and Media General, is current CEO of Standard Media.

Following the close of the transaction, Tegna stations in Austin (KVUE), Dallas (WFAA and KMPX) and Houston (KHOU and KTBU) are expected to be acquired by Cox Media Group. Also after closing, Premion is expected to operate as a standalone business majority owned by CMG and Standard General.

“We are excited to partner again with Deb McDermott, who previously spearheaded the broadcast group at Media General, where Standard General was a principal shareholder,” Kim said. “We believe Tegna has a strong foundation and exciting prospects for continued growth as a result of the stewardship of the Board and the current management team. We look forward to building on the Company’s strong foundation and leveraging Deb’s deep industry experience to drive further growth.” 

McDermott will be replacing Tegna CEO Dave Lougee. 

“I am honored to lead Tegna team to create new opportunities and build on its heritage and successes achieved under Dave’s leadership,” McDermott said. “Tegna’s stations have earned excellent reputations as leading local content providers, and Tegna’s digital and content assets are a key part of its future in an evolving media landscape. These achievements are a credit to the hard work of Tegna’s dedicated employees, who are the company’s most  valuable asset. I’m very excited about what the future holds for Tegna.” 

Lougee called the transaction the next step in Tegna’s evolution.

“Tegna’s employees deserve tremendous credit for their commitment to serving our viewers with high-quality news and content that informs and supports our local communities,” Lougee said. “At all levels, we have been tireless in our efforts to ensure Tegna effectively serves all of our stakeholders, and I am immensely proud of these efforts. Our hard work has built a company that is a leading and trusted local news and media content provider in the markets it serves and has fostered a culture of diversity and inclusiveness. We are deeply gratified that Tegna’s new owners value and embrace our purpose to serve the greater good of our communities. Deb McDermott is an experienced and accomplished broadcast executive, and we are confident in Tegna’s future under her leadership.”

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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