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Wert Added to Standard’s Choices for Tegna Board

Standard General, the investment firm that owns a 9.7% stake in Tegna, said it will nominate former Tribune Broadcasting executive Larry Wert to Tegna’s board of directors.

Standard General is now nominating five people for seats on the Tegna board, up from earlier plans to nominate four.

The investment company has said that Tegna’s stock and operations ought to be doing better and criticized its approach to merger and acquisitions.

Related: Tegna Blast Standard General in Letter to Shareholders

Tegna rejected the first four potential directors Standard General proposed. 

“The Nominating and Governance Committee of Tegna’s board will evaluate Mr. Wert consistent with its review process,” a Tegna spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, Tegna added Karen Grimes to its board. She had been senior managing director and equity portfolio manager at Wellington Management Co.

"We are excited to add Larry to our slate of directors given his excellent track record of creating great shareholder outcomes,” said Soohyung Kim, founding partner of Standard General.

“All five of our nominees have C-suite and directorship experience in publicly-traded local television broadcasting, experience that is critical to ensure that Tegna is on the right path to maximize value for all shareholders,” Kim added. “The upcoming annual meeting provides shareholders the opportunity to bring new and independent perspectives to this Board, and our nominees are committed to creating fundamental change after a lost decade of strategic missteps and underperformance."

Related: Tegna Sells Stake in Premion Ad Unit to Gray

Wert was president of broadcast media for Tribune Media Co., from 2013 until the company was acquired by Nexstar Media Group last September. Before that he was general manager of WMAQ-TV, NBC’s station in Chicago, and president of NBC Local Media’s central and western region. Before that he was general manager of WLUP-FM and AM in Chicago.

The other Standard General nominees to the Tegna board are Kim, Colleen Brown, Ellen McClain Haime and Deb McDermott, who is CEO of Standard Media Group.