In a letter today to shareholders, E.W. Scripps Chairman Rich Boehne urged them to defeat the board nominees proposed by GAMCO CEO Mario Gabelli, saying Gabelli “has not provided any specifics about his plan for Scripps.”
With a proxy fight heating up in advance of the May 10 shareholders’ meeting, E.W. Scripps Chairman Rich Boehne urged shareholders today to reject Mario Gabelli’s slate of three directors, contending the investor has failed to articulate a plan to deliver the returns he is promising.
“In both his private conversations with company management and in his public communications, GAMCO CEO Mario Gabelli has not provided any specifics about his plan for Scripps or how his nominees would work with the Scripps board and management to achieve it, despite our repeated requests,” Boehne said in his letter to shareholders.
Boehne said Gabelli rejected Scripps CEO Adam Symson’s offer, on behalf of the Scripps board, to include one of Gabelli’s nominees in the company’s slate of directors in hopes of reaching a constructive resolution.
In the letter, Boehne said that current management and board will increase cash flow by more than 40% between 2016 and 2020 and improve margins by 400 basis points between now and 2020.
Those returns with come via streamlining operations, strengthening the TV group with a “buy-sell-swap” strategy and sticking with its national digital media strategy that showed a profit for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2017.
By contract, Gabelli is offering an improvement in cash flow of 600 basis points without saying how or when.
The management directors are Lauren R. Fine, Roger L. Ogden and Kim Williams. Gabelli’s replacement slate comprises Ray Cole, Vince Sadusky and Colleen Brown.
Votes will be counted at the shareholders’ meeting.