Shareholders Re-Elect All 12 Tegna Directors
Tegna announced this morning that current management led by Chairman Howard Elias and CEO David Lougee won its proxy battle with hedge fund investor Soo Kim as shareholders reelected the entire slate of 12 board directors recommended by management.
The declaration of victory was based on the preliminary vote count of Tegna’s proxy solicitor.
Kim, who had earlier rolled up Young and LIN into Media General before selling the combined companies to Nexstar, had challenged Tegna management, campaigning for votes to place himself and three others on the board.
He alleged that under the guidance of Lougee and Elias, Tegna was badly underperforming its industry peers in various operational measures and total shareholder return.
That Tegna would prevail appeared increasingly likely over the past two weeks as two proxy advisers — neutral analysts — recommended the management slate and another said that shareholders should elect just one of the Kim’s four candidates.
Tegna may have sealed the deal by declaring a 7 cents a share dividend this morning.
“We are grateful that our shareholders have supported our highly qualified and experienced directors,” Elias said in a statement. “This outcome is a validation of our board’s ongoing commitment to driving value for all shareholders. The board has benefitted from the opportunity to speak directly with shareholders about Tegna’s strategy and performance and to hear their feedback and perspective.
“We appreciate that Standard General has a large investment in Tegna and look forward to moving past the proxy contest and having a constructive dialogue with Soo Kim going forward.”
Added Lougee: “We are pleased by the support Tegna shareholders have shown for our proven strategy to deliver growth and shareholder value. We appreciate the confidence our investors have placed in our talented team to navigate the current crisis and continue Tegna’s critical role of providing factual and reliable information to our local communities at a time when it has never been more important.”