June 9, 2023


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Standard General tells Tegna employees ‘no intention to reduce staff’


Standard Media CEO Deb McDermott tried to serene rumors and issues that when and if her company requires about Tegna, the new enterprise could slash staff members.

In a really unusual move through a takeover, and with takeover approval however in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission, McDermott despatched a memo to Tegna workers that involved 1 paragraph in bold font for emphasis:

You may well have browse opinions in the press from teams opposing the transaction speculating that Conventional Normal will be reducing journalism and laying off journalists at the Company’s stations. These feedback are simply just untrue.

Common Basic and I have always placed a high worth on nearby journalism and have no intention, and have never ever experienced the intention, of lessening news or information staff at TEGNA stations. In truth, and as we have represented to the FCC, we do not intend to minimize station-stage staffing pursuing the transaction.

To the opposite, we anticipate to contend vigorously in all markets, which will call for ongoing financial commitment in community journalism and newsgathering operations.

Our commitment to journalism is backed by both Standard General’s and my monitor documents of major regional broadcast teams above the previous 12 several years, such as people at Youthful Broadcasting, Media Standard and most lately, Common Media Group.

The CEO’s electronic mail follows what Normal Standard — the financial commitment company that owns Common Media — calls “bewildering” scrutiny from the FCC. The FCC questioned for thorough details about Regular General’s designs for staffing and serving the public desire, and how it programs to handle retransmission agreements with cable and satellite companies. The FCC issued a protecting purchase that would require the enterprise to deliver private data to the government that would not have to be unveiled to the public.

Teams which includes Widespread Trigger, the NewsGuild-CWA, and Public Understanding have openly opposed the takeover and questioned the FCC to delay the acceptance.

The speculation that Common General may well slash personnel could be rooted in the sticky takeover war of words. Standard Basic head Soo Kim has been vital of Tegna’s management, even when trying to get the organization. In April 2020, Regular General issued a detailed assault on Tegna’s profitability that integrated a reference that anxious Tegna staff members. It posted this graphic, in which it said Tegna stations have “2x the number of staff for every station in comparison to peers” but lags driving its friends in profitability.

(Regular Basic SEC filing, April 13, 2020)

Standard Common did not say that Tegna was overstaffed, but the comparison was unsettling to workforce who search at what has took place in the newspaper business when non-public fairness fund professionals take over media organizations and slash staff members. Market observers stage out that Tegna stations are typically in bigger markets than business peers, while the two Nexstar and Gray have extra massive current market stations to their portfolios in latest many years.

In her email, McDermott does not outright say there will be no layoffs or personnel cuts — no one can make these kinds of predictions — but she did say that her individual observe report as a media government shows her perseverance to journalism:

Acquiring been a station normal manager and functioning with newsrooms for far more than 30 yrs, I firmly believe that that sturdy local journalism is an essential component to a successful area broadcast station.

Although I will have a lot more to share with you in the potential about our publish-closing options, I wished you to listen to these details from me and reiterate our motivation to developing on the numerous successes you have currently obtained. I glance forward to conference you in human being in the upcoming and to doing work with you all to develop new prospects for the Firm.


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