Big Tegna Stockholder Heads To Proxy Fight

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.

Portland Stations Plan ATSC 3.0 Rollout

Stations from Meredith, Nexstar, Sinclair and Tegna have applied for FCC approval to launch NextGen TV in Oregon.

Byron Allen Makes $8.5B Cash Bid For Tegna

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.

KARE Minneapolis Ups Kraus To Sales Director

Tegna promotes Joanie Kraus to succeed Steve Chase as head of sales at its Minneapolis NBC affiliate.

Tegna Takes On The Coronavirus

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.

Report: Gray In $8.5B Bid To Acquire Tegna

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.

Tegna’s Dave Lougee Receives Golden Mike Award

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)

Tegna And Gray Form OTT Partnership

Gray will acquire a minority ownership interest in Tegna’s Premion and resell Premion in all of Gray’s 93 television markets.

DMA 68: DES MOINES, IA

Tegna Names David Loving GM In Des Moines

The former Univision executive takes over the station group’s Iowa ABC-CW duopoly of WOI-KCWI on March 2.

Tegna Adds Board Member, Declares Dividend

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.”

TVN FOCUS ON PODCASTING

TVN Focus | Stations See Audience, Rev Potential In Podcasts

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.

EARNINGS CALL

Tegna Ad Growth Goes Beyond Political

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.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Tegna 4Q Revenue Climbs 8%

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.

Tegna, NFL Network Now Share Reddit Content

The agreement will let Tegna’s stations source Reddit’s hyperlocal content for their news broadcasts and digital properties.

Tegna Voted Best Place To Work For LGBTQ Equality

Tegna Urged To Consider Sale, Merger

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.

Tegna To Fight Proposed Board Change

It objects to the request from investor Standard Media that Standard’s Soo Kim and three others be added, citing “serious concerns about Mr. Kim’s prior business and board service, including a track record of endorsing and executing corporate actions in favor of his own investments to the detriment of other shareholders.”

Tegna Training Journos To Fight Disinformation

The station group will work with First Draft to train its journalists to identify and verify false information online and help audiences spot misinformation. It will also expand its news fact-checking initiative Verify.

Tegna Offering $1 Billion In Senior Notes

Tegna Inc. announced today that it intends to offer $1 billion of senior notes due 2028 in a private offering to persons reasonably believed to be “qualified institutional buyers” as defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933.The notes will be guaranteed on a senior basis by certain subsidiaries of the company. Tegna […]

Tegna, Suddenlink Set New Retrans Deal

Wednesday evening at about 10:30 p.m. ET, Tegna said it “reached a multi-year agreement with Suddenlink with no interruption of service to viewers.” The previous retransmission consent contract was to expire at 11:59 p.m. ET. The agreement covers about 20 stations.

Tegna-Suddenlink Talks Down To The Wire

Tegna Inc. on Saturday released the following update on the status of negotiations with Suddenlink on a new retransmission consent agreement: “Tegna is working hard to reach a fair, market-based agreement with Suddenlink. While we hope a deal can be reached by 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 31 and avoid any interruption of service, we have a responsibility to inform our viewers of the current situation. We have begun notifying viewers of their options to continue watching our valuable local programming if the deadline passes without an agreement.”

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | Stations Embrace Advances In Remote Production

News organizations are increasingly using breakthroughs in technology to allow journalists to remotely, yet quickly, deliver more content over multiple platforms. The advances range from improved cellular networks that speed transmission of content from the field to the newsroom and cameras capable of streaming and providing remote video, to a host of tools available for journalists to remotely edit and produce content while collaborating with their newsrooms. Above, Grass Valley’s new GV Alyve, released at this year’s IBC Show, gives reporters a “virtual control room in the cloud” for production and distribution of video and livestream content. (Source: Grass Valley)

TVN FOCUS ON ADVERTISING

Growing Fees Slow Spot Automation Growth

Per-transaction fees and resistance by walled gardens are hampering the development of tools to streamline the complicated world of buying and selling spot TV advertising.

EARNINGS CALL

Tegna’s Big Markets Outperforming Small Ones

“We’re doing better in our larger markets, with local being specifically strong,” Tegna CEO Dave Lougee told analysts today, with good performances from insurance, media and telecom, medical, dental and services categories.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Tegna 3Q Revenue Moves Up 2%

The increase to $552 million was driven by acquisitions and continued growth in subscription revenue and advertising and marketing services, which more than offset the absence of $60 million of political revenue in the same period last year.

Doug Wieder Upped To WVEC Norfolk GM

Tegna moves up the executive news producer to oversee the station group’s ABC affiliate in Norfolk.

Tegna, Fox Renew Affiliation Agreements

The multi-year deal renews station affiliation agreements for six Tegna markets in Texas, Penn., Conn. and Ariz.

Tegna’s Vault Studios Debuts ‘Amy Should Be Forty’ Podcast

Tegna Inc. today announced the launch of Amy Should Be Forty, a five-episode podcast series by Tegna’s Vault Studios that chronicles the kidnapping and murder of Amy Mihaljevic, a case that continues to draw national attention 30 years later. On Oct. 27, 1989, in the suburban Cleveland town of Bay Village, 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic disappeared after […]

Tegna’s Lougee To Receive Golden Mike Award

The broadcast group’s president-CEO will be honored by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at its annual gala in New York on March 4.

Tegna Announces Quarterly Dividend

Tegna Inc. today declared a dividend of 7 cents per share, payable on Jan. 2, 2020, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 6, 2019. “Tegna continues to create value for our shareholders through our operational excellence, rigorous financial discipline, and execution on key strategic initiatives,” said Victoria Harker, Tegna EVP-CFO.

Tegna Investor May Be Seeking Its Sale

Standard General LP, the hedge fund that once sold a collection of newspapers to Warren Buffett, is back in the media business with a stake in TV broadcaster Tegna Inc. and is on the hunt for a deal.

Tegna, Charter Strike Retrans Agreement

Charter Communication said Sunday that it reached a long-term retransmission consent deal with Tegna that will keep the broadcast group’s network affiliates available to the cable company’s subscribers. The new contract follows a week of extensions after the old agreement expired.

RETRANS

Tegna Grants Charter Retrans Extension

Tegna, which hours earlier warned Charter Spectrum customers that they could lose access to programming from their 45 television stations across the country at 10:59 p.m. PT Monday, said it granted the cable operator a temporary extension as talks continue.

Lessons From The Front Line Of News Innovation

Five takeaways from newsrooms that are starting to re-invent local TV journalism.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Executive Session | No Standing Still For Lougee And Tegna

Tegna President-CEO Dave Lougee says he will continue to look for stations that meet his performance and market criteria to the extent the FCC ownership limits allow. He also addresses the advantages of scale, automated spot buying, retrans threats, his decision to take national sales in-house, regulation, the weakness of auto spot, the strength of political spot and his hope for ATSC 3.0.

Tegna Confirms Apollo M&A Contacts

According to a statement released by the station group, Apollo has proposed first acquiring Tegna and later merging it with Cox Media Group. Apollo struck a deal to acquire Cox in February, but that deal has not yet closed.

DMAS 28 & 34

Tegna Completes Acquisition Of Dispatch Stations

The $535 million deal for WTHR Indianapolis and WBNS-AM-FM-TV Columbus, Ohio, closes.

EARNINGS CALL

Tegna Bullish On In-House Rep, Retrans

CEO Dave Lougee said dropping Cox Reps to go in-house will increase automation of national spot sales and reduce the number of points of contact that the agencies have to deal with. “The response from the agencies to what we have announced has been tremendous,” he said. And he told analysts that retransmission consent revenues should account for about half of total revenues beginning in the 2020 cycle and continue to grow thereafter.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Tegna 2Q Revenue Moves Up 2%

The increase to $537 million is powered by subscription revenues and an improvement in advertising and marketing services.

Tegna Taps Larry Delia As SVP Media Operations

The Dispatch Broadcast Group executive will make the move once the sale of its stations to Tegna closes. He will be succeeded as president-GM of WTHR Indianapolis by Michael Brouder.