The coronavirus pandemic forced television news operations to produce almost entirely from producers’ and anchors’ homes. During a TVNewsCheck Working Lunch Webinar, set for May 28 at 1 p.m. ET, leading television engineering and operations executives will talk about what they’ve learned while facilitating this massive shift in workflow and the long-term changes likely to flow from it. Above, l-r: Speakers Richard Friedel, Fox Television Stations; Clint Moore, Gray Television; and Robert Lydick, Tegna Media.
“We are seeing improvement week-to-week,” CEO Dave Lougee said of ad sales trends. He declined to give a number, but said it is not as bad as the 50% drop in local mentioned in the Fox Corp. conference call.
The increase to $684 million is driven by strength in subscription and political revenues. Net income increased 17% and adjusted EBITDA rose 39%, benefiting from high-margin political revenues and recent acquisitions.
A budding esports rivalry will get a Texas-sized jolt of energy this month as the Dallas Fuel and the Houston Outlaws, two professional esports teams competing in the Overwatch League, collaborate to launch a first-of-its-kind esports skills and team competition series on television stations throughout Texas. The Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung will feature three weeks […]
Coronavirus-necessitated remote workflows have spun up quickly and reliably to allow TV stations to keep broadcasting during the pandemic. There’s reason to believe they’ll stick around after the crisis subsides. Above: Avid Edit On Demand provides a full virtual production environment in the cloud, including Media Composer software and Avid NEXIS storage. (Source: Avid)
The defeat of a proposal by Standard General’s Soo Kim is a victory for Tegna Chairman Howard Elias and CEO David Lougee and followed announcement of a 7 cents a share dividend to shareholders earlier this morning.
Tegna Inc.’s board of directors today declared a dividend of 7 cents per share, payable on July 1 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on June 5. “Tegna’s positive momentum continued in the first quarter of 2020 as we continue to execute on our five-pillar strategy during these unprecedented times,” said Dave Lougee, president-CEO. “With our prudent capital structure and focus on our strategic vision, we remain positioned to create value for our shareholders.”
Soo Kim’s ill-timed persistence for seats on Tegna’s board has been undermined by statements from three influential proxy advisers. And that’s a good thing. Current management led by CEO David Lougee may have its faults, but it beats Kim, whose goal is to merge or sell the company out of existence.
All three proxy advisory firms recommend against the election of Soohyung Kim to the Tegna board.
Proxy adviser Glass Lewis & Co. says: “We believe Tegna shareholders would be best served at this time by voting to elect all of the company’s director nominees,” rejecting the move by Standard General to add four directors to the company’s 12-member board.
Tegna, in the midst of a proxy fight with investor Standard General, said it expects first quarter net income to be $86 million, up 17%, but suspended its guidance for the rest of 2020 and 2021 because of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services said on Friday that Tegna shareholders should elect one of hedge fund Standard General’s director nominees to the broadcast company’s board. ISS backed Colleen Brown, saying that her “direct experience with local stations would appear to be additive to the board.” ISS recommended that shareholders not vote for three other dissident nominees, including Soohyung Kim, the hedge fund’s founder, who has been pushing the company to consider selling itself.
Ariel Investments LLC, the 11th-largest shareholder of Tegna Inc., said on Monday it was backing the company’s board in its proxy contest with hedge fund Standard General. “We have been very happy with [Tegna’s] performance. They have delivered solid results. They have made the right moves by making accretive acquisitions,” Ariel portfolio fund manager John Miller said.
The company seeks to correct “Standard General’s many errors and false and misleading statements” while detailing Tegna’s “strong performance, experienced board, and focus on shareholder value.”
The company urges shareholders to vote for all Tegna nominees and highlights its “successful transformation, track record of value creation and accomplished board of directors.”
Dave Lougee, Tegna CEO, sent an email to employees Monday announcing companywide weeklong furloughs to be taken in the second quarter of this year. The company is implementing a “one week furlough for most employees to be taken between the week of April 20 and the week of June 26. Lougee said he and the Tegna board will take a 25% pay cut during April, May and June.
Activist investor Standard General on Friday said it has increased its stake in Tegna to 12%, a 20% increase. Standard General, which is mounting a proxy fight to get a slate of four directors added to Tegna’s board, said that it believes that it is now the largest shareholder in the broadcaster.
Tegna branded the sale of 5 million shares in the broadcaster by activist investor Standard General as something that should be “troubling” to stockholders being asked to put Standard General nominees on the Tegna board.
The TV group says two of the four unsolicited acquisition proposals have been withdrawn in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the other two parties have not signed confidentiality agreements to enable due diligence and have not delivered any information on financing sources.
Tegna Inc. today announced that assistant treasurer Cherbury Chesser has been promoted to vice president and treasurer, and that Doug Kuckelman, senior director of corporate development, has been named head of investor relations. Both appointments are effective immediately. Cherbury Chesser joined Tegna in May 2013 as director of corporate finance, and has been assistant treasurer […]
Former analyst John Janedis is returning to Wall Street as managing director and head of the media team at Wolfe Research after 15 months at Tegna. Janedis had been a top-ranked analyst at UBS and Wells Fargo before joining Tegna as senior VP, capital markets and investor relations at Tegna.
The Najafi Companies and Trinity Broadcasting Network have joined the other companies attempting to acquire Tegna Inc. The two companies’ joint offer is $20 per share for the U.S. broadcast, digital media and marketing services of Tegna. The Najafi Companies is a private global investment firm, while TBN is a faith-and-family broadcaster that says it reaches more than 175 nations.
Gray Television has withdrawn its offer to acquire larger peer Tegna because of concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on U.S. regional TV station operators, people familiar with the matter said. Gray had offered to buy Tegna for about $8.5 billion, including debt, Reuters reported earlier this month. After Gray’s stock tumbled on the news and concerns about the coronavirus pandemic’s financial impact became widespread, the Atlanta-based company decided this was not the time to pursue the transformative acquisition, one of the sources said.
The race to acquire TV station owner Tegna Inc. hinges not just on the price suitors are willing to pay, but also on how much they may give up in terms of assets to win regulatory approval, people familiar with the matter said. All three bidders own TV stations that regulators would require to be divested because of the potential overlap, the sources added.
A large shareholder of broadcaster Tegna, fund managers Standard General, has proposed an alternative slate of five new directors to counter what it calls “a continuing pattern of passivity” in financial performance, and to ensure the board considers multiple acquisitions offers.
Stations from Meredith, Nexstar, Sinclair and Tegna have applied for FCC approval to launch NextGen TV in Oregon.
Media entrepreneur Byron Allen has made an all-cash bid for Tegna and is said to be one of three potential buyers circling the Tysons, Va.-based broadcaster, according to a source familiar with the situation. Allen’s Allen Media Group offered $20 a share, or about $8.5 billion, the source said. It is going up against Gray Television, which last week made a offer, also for $20 a share but in a combination of cash and stock. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which recently acquired stations from Cox, is also said to have made a bid.
Tegna promotes Joanie Kraus to succeed Steve Chase as head of sales at its Minneapolis NBC affiliate.
Tegna is adopting a “Facts Not Fear” approach to its coronavirus coverage, vetting information with redoubled fact checking efforts and tempering the tone and graphics in its reporting to stay soberly in the informative lane. “The most important thing we can do right now as journalists is not create panic, not create unnecessary stress and worry,” says News VP Ellen Crooke.
Gray Television has made an offer to acquire larger peer Tegna Inc for approximately $8.5 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. A successful bid by Gray would significantly expand its footprint in several TV markets. It underscores the pressure Gray and other companies in the TV station industry are under to gain scale and more pricing power with advertisers and the major networks.
The annual fundraiser event raised more than $400,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America that provides aid to broadcasters in acute need. Also honored was Beasley Media Group’s George Beasley, who was presented with the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Above (l-r): Dan Mason, Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman; host Deborah Norville, Inside Edition; Lougee; and Jim Thompson, Broadcasters Foundation of America president. (Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross)
Gray will acquire a minority ownership interest in Tegna’s Premion and resell Premion in all of Gray’s 93 television markets.
The former Univision executive takes over the station group’s Iowa ABC-CW duopoly of WOI-KCWI on March 2.
The company today appointed Karen Grimes to its board as a new independent director and also declared a dividend of 7 cents per share, payable on April 1 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 6. It rejected “the four Standard General nominees to Tegna’s board.”
TV broadcasters including E.W. Scripps, Tegna, Fox Owned Stations and KSL have laid down bets of varying sizes in the podcast medium, drawn by the potential of expanding audiences, motivating newsrooms and new revenue streams.
CEO Dave Lougee tells analysts that the company’s advertising categories pacing up this year include auto, media & telecom, travel & tourism, medical & dental, banking & finance and auto after-market.
The increase to $694 million was driven by acquisitions and continued growth in subscription revenue and advertising and marketing services, which more than offset the absence of $140 million of political revenue in the same period last year.
The agreement will let Tegna’s stations source Reddit’s hyperlocal content for their news broadcasts and digital properties.
Another large investor in Tegna wants the station group to pursue a merger or sale, arguing a tie-up could be very valuable at a time the industry is facing a wave of consolidation, two people familiar with the matter said. Hedge fund HG Vora Capital Management, which owns about 4% of Tegna’s stock, is the third investor to push for changes at Tegna. Standard General has laid the groundwork for a proxy contest and Donerail also wants changes to be made.