After Tegna rejected its proposed board members, minority owner Standard General, one of the company’s largest shareholders, is soliciting proxies for the Tegna annual shareholders meeting so it can seat those candidates anyway. That is according to an SEC filing Wednesday, March 17, in which Standard General said it is seeking to place three board members to help diversify the board, and cited the withdrawal of their fourth candidate, former FCC official and top ad association executive Adonis Hoffman, as a reason for needing to add that diversity.
Tegna CEO Dave Lougee’s apology to former board nominee Adonis Hoffman over a racially charged incident has been accepted, but Hoffman is amping up criticism of the company’s response. The back-and-forth is occurring against the backdrop of a proxy battle for Tegna. The company has rebuffed acquisition overtures despite the preferences of some of its privately held investors. One stakeholder — Soo Kim’s hedge fund Standard General — is calling for a shakeup of the board and had initially nominated Hoffman for a seat.
Tegna President-CEO Dave Lougee has apologized for an incident involving former top FCC staffer and ad association executive Adonis Hoffman that the latter found disturbing and was part of the reason Hoffman withdrew his candidacy for a Tegna board of directors seat. The result is that the Tegna board hired an outside law firm to investigate the incident and human resources reviewed Lougee’s human resources file.
Adonis Hoffman: “For most of his tenure, former FCC chief Tom Wheeler was at war with the broadcast industry. New chairman, Ajit Pai, is rolling out the red carpet for broadcasters, throwing his weight behind ATSC 3.0, a cutting-edge technology that is expected to give life and value to broadcast spectrum.”
Adonis Hoffman, chairman of Business in the Public Interest: “Elections have consequences. And nowhere are the consequences more monumental than in the telecom, media and technology sector, where the erstwhile status quo stands to be upended soon. Predictably, every big decision of the last decade affecting broadcasting, cable, internet, telecom and wireless companies will be reviewed and revised by the new administration.”