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.
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.
Statement of Yosef Getachew, Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director
“Standard General and Apollo have failed to show how this merger is anything more than the continued hijacking of our local newsrooms by hedge funds and private equity firms. If approved, this transaction would lead to the further erosion of local media with more reporter layoffs, consolidated newsrooms and a loss in local news coverage.”
“In their opposition to our petition to deny, Standard General and Apollo attempt to brand themselves as champions of local news. In reality, these corporations have said they will implement a business model that creates a race to the bottom approach, which fails to provide communities with the news and information they need to civically engage and hold government accountable.
“The transaction also does nothing to advance the FCC’s ownership diversity goals. While the diversity of the business leaders in this merger is laudable, the agency’s goals to increase media ownership opportunities for women and people of color are grounded in creating pathways for multiple owners with multiple viewpoints and backgrounds to enter the marketplace. A single owner controlling a significant amount of stations across the country, producing news far from the communities the stations serve and implementing cost-cutting measures, should not and does not meet the agency’s criteria for promoting media ownership diversity.”
“Standard General and Apollo have failed to show any positive, transaction-specific public interest benefits from the merger and fail to address the significant public interest harms that would result if the deal is approved. Given the significant harms, the FCC should block this merger.”
To view today’s filing, click here.