Thursday, October 6, 2022

PEU Buyout of Tegna

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. raised concerns regarding the buyout of broadcast company Tegna.  They are worried about the buyout limiting access to local news coverage, cutting jobs at television stations and raising consumer prices.

The lawmakers also raised concerns over reports that Standard General told investors in a meeting that Tegna’s local news stations have too many employees, a potential indicator of incoming layoffs.

“At the same time, they have described piping in news produced in Washington, D.C., to fill time on local newscasts as a public interest benefit, potentially leading to fewer local journalists and less local news,” the lawmakers wrote.

“The proposed transaction also threatens to undermine localism, competition, and diversity by obscuring ownership of the airwaves through offshore holding companies in the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.

Oddly, The Carlyle Group has hundreds of companies based in the Cayman Islands.  Speaker Pelosi did not raise the issue with Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein in her Bloomberg interview 

Standard General and Apollo Global plan to take out Tegna.  

Standard General employs an event-driven and opportunistic strategy, taking a private equity-like approach to invest in public companies while shorting equities and credit to generate alpha and manage risk during periods of market volatility.

Apollo Global has former Senator Evan Bayh on the payroll.  Will he give Pelosi a non-lobbying call to address her concerns?

In the final episode of Reliable Sources David Zurawick lamented on the last three decades:

"The accelerated demise of local say it's hollowed out is another euphemism." 

He cited the impact of hedge fund/private equity ownership on media companies.  "It's all about the profit."  Yes.  It's made worse by the PEU boys masquerading as the media.  They don't investigate themselves.