After being pressed to collect more information on how Standard General will conduct retransmission consent negotiations after its proposed purchase of the Tegna TV stations, the FCC is doing just that.
The commission has issued a request for more information about the deal, leading off with the following:
"Describe the Combined Company’s anticipated retransmission negotiating strategy Post Transaction. Does the Combined Company anticipate jointly negotiating retransmission consent agreements or otherwise coordinating with AGM regarding the carriage of stations in Overlap Markets or Non-Overlap Markets Post-Transaction?"
The FCC is also asking about any potential layoffs and whether the combined company--or Apollo Global Management, which is getting some of the stations in a spin-off side deal--are striking any sharing arrangements or agreements "related to programming, operations, or sale of advertising," particularly ones in the same market.
Last month, critics of the deal said the FCC needed to collect more data, including on sharing agreements, retrans, and whether their would be layoffs.
They argue that the companies' application for transfer of licenses left too many questions unanswered, like whether they told their bankers that increased retransmission consent fees would help pay for the deal and that there would be massive layoffs. The groups do not say any such representations were made, but instead posit them as possibilities that need to be ruled in or out.
The FCC appears to agree. ■
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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