With the Federal Communications Commission still vetting their proposed merger after more than half a year, Standard General and Tegna have launched sgandtegna.com (opens in new tab), a website to promote what they see as the public-interest benefits of the deal.
The site is a way for the merger partners to consolidate various letters to the FCC and statements of support for the transaction in one place, and combine that with their pitch that the combo will boost local journalism and minority ownership of the media, both key FCC public-interest goals.
The website also puts Standard General’s recent commitments to the FCC related to retransmission consent and newsroom staffing on public display.
The FCC is currently seeking comment on those commitments, which include agreeing not to apply higher retrans rates to Tegna stations due to so-called after-acquired clauses that could otherwise raise Tegna retrans rates to those of Standard General stations and agreeing, as MVPDs had called for, not to enter into joint sales agreements (JSAs), shared services agreements (SSAs) or local marketing agreements (LMAs) between Tegna and Cox Media Group (CMG) stations. (CMG parent Apollo Global Management is providing funding for the proposed merger and getting stations in a side deal.)
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 CMG, which will own some of the Tegna stations if the deal is approved.
Petitions to deny were filed by The NewsGuild-CWA, the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET)-CWA and Graham Media Holdings. ▪️
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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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