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Media & Democracy 08.2.2022

Broadcasting & Cable: Groups Say Tegna Deal Will 'Jack Up' Cable Prices

Common Cause, news and broadcast unions and UCC Media Justice, Which petitioned the FCC to deny the Standard General-Tegna merger, told the FCC Tuesday (Aug. 2)  just what it thought of the those merging parties' defense of the deal, including that the petitioners had no legal right to challenge it. In their comments, the groups minced no words. "The Applicants and their anonymous funders located in the Cayman and British Virgin Islands have proposed a complex series of transactions designed to weaken local journalism and jack up cable subscriber fees," they said. "Grant of their pending applications will do nothing to create a more accurate, diverse or independent media." 

Media & Democracy 08.1.2022

Common Cause Files Response Opposing Proposed Apollo Global Management-Standard General-Tegna Merger

Today, Common Cause joined The NewsGuild-CWA, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-CWA, and UCC Media Justice Ministry in filing a Reply, opposing the proposed merger of Apollo Global Management, Standard General L.P., and Tegna Inc. In June, Common Cause filed its original petition to deny the merger.

Media & Democracy 06.23.2022

Common Cause Files Petition to Deny Proposed Apollo Global Management-Standard General-Tegna Merger

On Wednesday, Common Cause, joined by UCC Media Justice, filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking the agency to deny the proposed $8.6 billion merger of Apollo Global Management, Standard General L.P., and Tegna Inc. If approved, Standard General would acquire Tegna’s 61 full power television stations and two radio stations across 50 markets. Apollo will control the licenses of 31 full-power television stations in 26 markets and 54 radio stations in 11 radio markets. The petition urges the Commission to deny the proposed transaction on the grounds that it would enlarge two firms – Standard General and Apollo – who have already swallowed smaller broadcast groups – leading to greater consolidation in the marketplace, leading to reporter layoffs, price hikes, and national harms related to greater media consolidation. 

Media & Democracy 05.12.2022

Broadcasting & Cable: Tegna Deal Critics Say FCC Needs More Data

Common Cause, joined by the NewsGuild-CWA union and Public Knowledge, have filed a formal motion for both additional documents that the FCC and the public can peruse and an extension of time to weigh in. Currently, the FCC has set a May 23 deadline for those wishing to formally oppose the deal. "Congress and the Biden Administration extended billions of dollars in taxpayer money last year to ensure the survival of local journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic," the motion says, adding: "Contrast that with the proposed transaction, apparently financed on the back of local journalism job cuts and centralized news operations."

Media & Democracy 05.12.2022

Common Cause Requests More Information on Purchase of Tegna by Standard General and Apollo Global Management

Today, Common Cause, along with The NewsGuild-CWA and Public Knowledge filed a Motion for Additional Information and Extension of Time with the Federal Communications Commission. The Motion asks the FCC to require the applicants in Standard General Inc. and Apollo Global Management’s acquisition of Tegna to provide additional information and documents necessary for the agency to determine whether the transaction is in the public interest.  

Media & Democracy 05.9.2022

Broadcasting & Cable: Gigi Sohn Fans: Broadband Bandwagon Is Missing Key Driver

Former acting FCC chairman and Common Cause special adviser Michael Copps was on the same page when it came to Sohn being a key piece in the broadband connectivity puzzle. “[N]one of the White House’s initiatives around halting ongoing consolidation in the broadband sector, restoring a free and open internet, and ensuring marginalized communities have equitable access to communications services can be fully achieved if the FCC remains deadlocked,” he said in a statement following the event. “Congress must take action now to ensure Ms. Sohn receives a vote,” Copps said.  Copps said those gatekeepers were conducting a “sleazy” campaign to undermine Sohn because they knew that “a functional FCC would hold them accountable and prevent them from engaging in anticompetitive and discriminatory practices that undermine our ability to get online.”

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