NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2020
/PRNewswire/ -- Standard General L.P., one of the largest
shareholders of TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), and the owner of
approximately 9.7% of the Company's outstanding shares, today
announced that, following TEGNA's expansion of its Board of
Directors to 12 directors last week, it will nominate Lawrence Wert, a deeply experienced local
television broadcasting executive, as an additional candidate for
election to the TEGNA Board of Directors at the 2020 Annual Meeting
of Shareholders. This brings Standard General's slate of
highly qualified, diverse and independent candidates to five.
Mr. Wert, 63, was President, Broadcast Media, of Tribune Media
Company ("Tribune") from February
2013 until the closing of Tribune's acquisition by Nexstar
Media Group in September 2019.
Mr. Wert, who has over 40 years of experience in the
broadcasting industry, was responsible for overseeing the strategy
and day-to-day activities of Tribune's owned or operated
television/radio stations. During his tenure, Tribune gained
the largest television station footprint in the U.S.
Since the Tribune acquisition, Mr. Wert has been self-employed,
providing consulting services to a variety of clients. From
1998 to 2012, Mr. Wert was the president and general manager of
WMAQ-TV, the NBC-owned and operated station in Chicago. From 2008 to 2012, he additionally
served as president of NBC Local Media's central and western region
and led station initiatives for 10 NBC-owned television stations.
Beginning in 1989, Mr. Wert served as President and General Manager
of WLUP-97.9 FM and AM 1000 radio stations in Chicago. In
1996, he was named President of Evergreen Media and, in that
position, helped guide the merger of Evergreen Media and Chancellor
Broadcasting, becoming Senior Vice President of Chancellor
Broadcasting, overseeing 13 radio stations. Mr. Wert has
served on the Boards of several charities and is Chairman Emeritus
of the Museum of Broadcast Communications. In 2017, Mr. Wert
was named "Broadcaster of the Year" by the Illinois Broadcaster's
Association. In 2018, under his leadership, Tribune Broadcasting
was named "Station Group of the Year" by Broadcasting and
Soohyung Kim, Founding Partner of
Standard General L.P., said, "We are excited to add Larry to our
slate of directors given his excellent track record of creating
great shareholder outcomes. 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. 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."
Unlike TEGNA's current Board, which does not have a single
independent director with industry operating experience, Standard
General's nominees bring significant operating experience in the
local television broadcasting industry in addition to significant
business and leadership experience with their backgrounds spanning
strategic planning, finance, M&A, and technology. Collectively,
they have decades of experience as CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and directors
of well-performing broadcasting companies. They are committed to
rigorous oversight of TEGNA's management, operations and business
Biographies of Standard General's Five Nominees (in
Colleen B. Brown is the founder of Marca Global,
LLC, a marketing technology company. Ms. Brown served as President
and Chief Executive Officer of Fisher Communications, Inc. from
2005 to 2013 and as a director of Fisher Communications, Inc. from
2006 to 2013. She also served as Senior Vice President of Belo
Corporation, President of the Television Division of Lee
Enterprises, and President and General Manager of various companies
at Gannett Co. Inc. Ms. Brown currently serves as a director of Big
5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV), TrueBlue, Inc.
(NYSE:TBI), German-based Spark Networks, and privately held Port
Blakely Companies. She has previously served as chairperson of the
board of American Apparel, Inc., and on the boards of Career
Builder, Classified Ventures, and DataSphere Technologies. In 2017,
Ms. Brown was honored as Director of the Year by the Pacific
Northwest National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). Ms.
Brown was inducted in 2014 to the GAMCO Management Hall of Fame.
Ms. Brown is also a Henry Crown Fellow and member of the Aspen
Leadership Institute. Ms. Brown holds a B.S. from
the University of Dubuque and M.B.A. from
the University of Colorado.
As a director, Ms. Brown will bring to the Board extensive
executive experience in strategic planning, operations, finance,
and technology. Her leadership as a public company Chief Executive
Officer, as well as a senior officer in two large media companies,
will be a valuable resource to the Company.
Haime is the Chief Financial Officer of Year
Up, Boston, MA, a not-for-profit provider of job training
services. Ms. McClain previously served as Vice
President, Finance of Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., a
publicly-traded owner/operator of 29 television
stations. Prior to her role at Hearst-Argyle, Ms. McClain
served as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and
Corporate Development at Granite Broadcasting
Corporation. Ms. McClain serves on the Board of Directors of Crane
Co. (NYSE: CR), a diversified manufacturer of highly
engineered industrial products. Ms. McClain previously
served as President, Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President
and Chief Financial Officer for the New York Racing
Association, Inc., the operator of three of the largest
racetracks in the United
States. Ms. McClain earned a B.A. in Economics
from Brown University and a Master in
Business Administration degree from Harvard University.
As a director, Ms. McClain will bring to the Board extensive
financial, operational and organizational expertise gained as Chief
Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and President of public
and private enterprises.
Soohyung Kim is the
Founding Partner of Standard General L.P., an investment firm, and
is the firm's Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer.
Mr. Kim served as a director of New Young Broadcasting Holding Co.,
Inc. and Media General from 2011 to its sale in 2017. Mr. Kim is a
director of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:TRWH), where
he serves as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Kim was inducted in 2016 to
the GAMCO Management Hall of Fame. Mr. Kim holds an A.B. from the
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
at Princeton University. As a director, Mr. Kim will bring to
the Board significant experience in the television broadcasting
industry as well as extensive M&A experience and knowledge of
the capital markets.
Deborah McDermott is the Chief Executive Officer of
Standard Media Group LLC. Ms. McDermott has over twenty
years of experience leading broadcast groups, most recently as
Chief Operating Officer of Media General and as Chief Executive
Officer and President of Young Broadcasting. In these roles,
Ms. McDermott served as a key member of the leadership teams
responsible for the successful acquisition and integration of more
than 90 stations. Ms. McDermott is also a member of the
Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and has served as Chair
of the National Association of Television Program Executives
(NATPE), Chair of the ABC Affiliate Board of Governors, and as a
member of the Boards of the National Association of Broadcasters
(NAB) and the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB).
Ms. McDermott is currently a director of MediaCo Holding Inc.
(NASDAQ: MDIA) and a director of Truxton Trust. In addition,
Ms. McDermott is a member of the board of the Country Music
Association. Ms. McDermott is a graduate of South Dakota State University. As a director, Ms.
McDermott will bring to the Board significant operating experience
in the television broadcasting industry.
Lawrence Wert was President, Broadcast Media, of
Tribune Media Company ("Tribune") from February 2013 until the closing of Tribune's
acquisition by Nexstar Media Group in September 2019. Mr. Wert, who has over
40 years of experience in the broadcasting industry, was
responsible for overseeing the strategy and day-to-day activities
of Tribune's owned or operated television/radio stations. During
his tenure, Tribune gained the largest television station
footprint in the U.S. Since the Tribune acquisition, Mr. Wert
has been self-employed, providing consulting services to a variety
of clients. From 1998 to 2012, Mr. Wert was the president and
general manager of WMAQ-TV, the NBC-owned and operated station in
Chicago. From 2008 to 2012, he
additionally served as president of NBC Local Media's central and
western region and led station initiatives for 10 NBC-owned
television stations. Beginning in 1989, Mr. Wert served as
President and General Manager of WLUP-97.9 FM and AM 1000 radio
stations in Chicago. In 1996, he was named President of
Evergreen Media and, in that position, helped guide the merger of
Evergreen Media and Chancellor Broadcasting, becoming Senior Vice
President of Chancellor Broadcasting, overseeing 13 radio
stations. Mr. Wert has served on the Boards of several
charities and is Chairman Emeritus of the Museum of Broadcast
Communications. In 2017, Mr Wert was named "Broadcaster of
the Year" by the Illinois Broadcaster's Association. In 2018, under
his leadership, Tribune Broadcasting was named "Station Group of
the Year" by Broadcasting and Cable. As a director, Mr. Wert brings
over forty years of leadership and operational experience in the
About Standard General L.P.
Standard General L.P. is
a New York City-based SEC-registered investment advisor that
manages event-driven opportunity funds. Standard General was
founded in 2007 and primarily manages capital for public and
private pension funds, endowments, foundations, and high net-worth
individuals. For more information, please
Bruce Goldfarb / Jason
Alexander / Pat McHugh
All statements contained in
this press release that are not clearly historical in nature or
that necessarily depend on future events are "forward-looking
statements," which are not guarantees of future performance or
results, and the words "anticipate," "believe," "expect,"
"potential," "could," "opportunity," "estimate," "plan," and
similar expressions are generally intended to identify
forward-looking statements. The projected results and statements
contained in this press release that are not historical facts are
based on current expectations, speak only as of the date of this
press release and involve risks that may cause the actual results
to be materially different. In light of the significant
uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking statements, the
inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a
representation as to future results. Standard General L.P.
disclaims any obligation to update the information herein except as
may be required by law and reserves the right to change any of its
opinions expressed herein at any time as it deems appropriate.
Standard General L.P. has not sought or obtained consent from any
third party to use any statements or information indicated herein
as having been obtained or derived from statements made or
published by third parties.
CERTAIN INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PARTICIPANTS
Standard General L.P., together with the other participants named
herein, intends to file a preliminary proxy statement and
accompanying WHITE proxy card with the Securities and Exchange
Commission ("SEC") to be used to solicit votes for the election of
its slate of highly-qualified director nominees at the 2020 annual
meeting of shareholders of TEGNA Inc., a Delaware corporation (the "Company").
STANDARD GENERAL STRONGLY ADVISES ALL SHAREHOLDERS OF THE
COMPANY TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT AND OTHER PROXY MATERIALS AS
THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT
INFORMATION. SUCH PROXY MATERIALS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE ON
THE SEC'S WEBSITE AT HTTP://WWW.SEC.GOV. IN ADDITION, THE
PARTICIPANTS IN THIS PROXY SOLICITATION WILL PROVIDE COPIES OF THE
PROXY STATEMENT WITHOUT CHARGE, WHEN AVAILABLE, UPON REQUEST.
REQUESTS FOR COPIES SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE PARTICIPANTS' PROXY
SOLICITOR: OKAPI PARTNERS LLC, BRUCE
GOLDFARB / JASON ALEXANDER /
PAT MCHUGH, 212-297-0720,
The participants in the proxy solicitation are anticipated to be
Standard General L.P., Standard General Master Fund L.P.,
Soohyung Kim, Stephen Usher, David
Glazek, Michael Perrone,
Colleen B. Brown, Ellen McClain Haime, Deborah McDermott and Lawrence Wert.
As of the date hereof, Standard General L.P. beneficially owns
21,124,315 shares of Common Stock, $1.00 par value per share of the Company (the
"Common Stock") in its capacity as the investment manager to
various private investment vehicles, including Standard General
Master Fund L.P., which is the record owner of 100 shares;
Soohyung Kim may be deemed to
indirectly beneficially own the shares of Common Stock beneficially
owned by Standard General L.P. As of the date hereof, Ms. Brown,
Ms. Haime, Ms. McDermott, Mr. Usher, Mr. Glazek, Mr. Wert and Mr.
Perrone do not beneficially own any shares of Common Stock.
SOURCE Standard General L.P.