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FCC, Standard General-Tegna Deal Opponents Continue to Talk

The Tegna Inc. headquarters stands in McLean, Virginia, U.S., on Friday, March, 13, 2020. Comedian and TV producer Byron Allen has made a $20-a-share, all-cash offer for Tegna in a deal that values the TV station owner at $8.5 billion, including debt, according to a person familiar with the situation.
(Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The FCC's Media Bureau again has reached out to the NewsGuild-CWA and The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (also CWA) to talk about the latter's problems with the Tegna-Standard General merger.

That is according to an ex parte accounting of an August 8 phone call between the guild's counsel, Andrew Schwartzman and Media Burea Deputy Chief Sarah Whitesell.

Asked if the Media Bureau had initiated the meeting as Schwartzman confirmed it had on a similar meeting last week, Schwartzman confirmed that was the case this time, too.

Schwartzman said he discussed the local job market as not just a competition issue but a localism and diversity issue when it comes to the public interest standard the FCC uses to judge mergers.

Also: Groups Say Tegna Deal Will 'Jack Up' Cable Prices

He also reiterated the various reasons the unions had standing to challenge the merger.

Elsewhere, Tegna and Standard General were pointing Monday (August 8) to the various diversity groups that were either supportive or cautiously optimistic about the merger, including the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) and the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP).

"NAHP believes that the transaction falls in line with our organization’s mission: to better serve and empower Hispanic communities through demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion," the group said. ■

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.