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

ByKristen Amber

Jun 19, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Standard Media CEO Deb McDermott experimented with to relaxed rumors and problems that when and if her organization takes about Tegna, the new corporation might lower staff.

In a highly unconventional shift for the duration of a takeover, and with takeover approval continue to in the arms of the Federal Communications Fee, McDermott despatched a memo to Tegna employees that included just one paragraph in bold font for emphasis:

You may perhaps have go through remarks in the press from teams opposing the transaction speculating that Standard Typical will be chopping journalism and laying off journalists at the Company’s stations. These reviews are basically untrue.

Common Typical and I have usually put a high benefit on local journalism and have no intention, and have never had the intention, of cutting down information or news staff at TEGNA stations. In fact, and as we have represented to the FCC, we do not intend to reduce station-amount staffing adhering to the transaction.

To the opposite, we count on to compete vigorously in all marketplaces, which will involve continued expenditure in community journalism and newsgathering functions.

Our determination to journalism is backed by both equally Common General’s and my track information of main community broadcast groups over the very last 12 several years, such as all those at Young Broadcasting, Media Basic and most not too long ago, Standard Media Team.

The CEO’s email follows what Typical Typical — the expenditure firm that owns Conventional Media — calls “bewildering” scrutiny from the FCC. The FCC requested for detailed data about Normal General’s designs for staffing and serving the community curiosity, and how it ideas to tackle retransmission agreements with cable and satellite organizations. The FCC issued a protective order that would require the business to mail private facts to the federal government that would not have to be produced to the public.

Teams including Prevalent Bring about, the NewsGuild-CWA, and General public Expertise have brazenly opposed the takeover and questioned the FCC to delay the approval.

The speculation that Typical Typical might reduce employees may perhaps be rooted in the sticky takeover war of text. Conventional Basic head Soo Kim has been significant of Tegna’s leadership, even while making an attempt to buy the firm. In April 2020, Standard Standard issued a in-depth attack on Tegna’s profitability that incorporated a reference that anxious Tegna workers. It posted this graphic, in which it said Tegna stations have “2x the amount of staff for each station as opposed to peers” but lags at the rear of its peers in profitability.

(Standard Normal SEC submitting, April 13, 2020)

Standard Basic did not say that Tegna was overstaffed, but the comparison was unsettling to workers who appear at what has took place in the newspaper market when non-public fairness fund supervisors take about media organizations and slash workers. Market observers place out that Tegna stations are generally in bigger markets than market friends, though equally Nexstar and Grey have additional large marketplace stations to their portfolios in latest many years.

In her email, McDermott does not outright say there will be no layoffs or staff members cuts — no person can make such predictions — but she did say that her have keep track of record as a media government shows her determination to journalism:

Possessing been a station normal manager and doing work with newsrooms for additional than 30 years, I firmly think that solid regional journalism is an necessary ingredient to a profitable area broadcast station.

Whilst I will have much a lot more to share with you in the upcoming about our article-closing strategies, I needed you to hear these details from me and reiterate our motivation to developing on the numerous successes you have currently attained. I glance ahead to conference you in person in the upcoming and to operating with you all to create new options for the Corporation.

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