Standard General-Tegna Deal Gets Support From Union Local

Soo Kim Standard General
Standard General managing partner Soo Kim (Image credit: Standard General)

While a couple of powerful unions have fought hard against the Standard General-Tegna merger, the fate of which is currently in the hands of an administrative law judge (ALJ), one local chapter of the International Union of Operating Engineers is a big backer of the transaction.

In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, Edward Curly, business manager of Local 501 of the IOUE, representing workers in Southern California and Southern Nevada, said Standard General and managing partner Soo Kim have been big supporters of organized labor and he expects no less from the merged companies. Kim has also said the company has had good relationships with unions.

Standard Media CEO Deb McDermott has said that her company does not intend to reduce station-level staffing or news staffing following the transaction.

“It is our strong opinion that Standard General will continue to bring its cooperative approach with organized labor to Tegna,” Curly said. “If Soo says he is serious about something and makes a commitment, he follows through on it.”

Standard General agreed to acquire Tegna in an $8.6 billion deal that includes the assumption of $3.2 billion in debt. Apollo Global Management (AGM) is providing some of the funding for the deal. AGM controls Cox Media Group (CMG), which will own some of the Tegna stations if the deal is approved.

Petitions to deny were filed by The NewsGuild-CWA and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET)-CWA. 

The FCC’s Media Bureau. which had been vetting the deal, said that it could not conclude the merger was in the public interests without designating it for a hearing before the judge over issues of retrans fee increases and possible job losses and their impact on local news and information. ■

John Eggerton

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.