Rainbow PUSH Coalition founder Rev. Jesse Jackson has told the Federal Communications Commission it should approve the merger of Standard General and Tegna.

Tegna, which owns 64 TV stations in 51 U.S. markets, agreed to be acquired by Standard General in February for $8.6 billion including debt. McLean, Virginia-based Tegna also owns multicast networks True Crime NetworkTwist and Quest, as well as advanced-advertising company Premion.

In a letter to the FCC Monday (December 12), Jackson said that after meeting with Standard General founding partner Soo Kim, who is Asian-American, and upon “careful and scrupulous review of his record on diversity and inclusion,” he and his organization “wholeheartedly support the purchase of Tegna.”

Jackson said: “Soo Kim, being Korean-American, is sensitive to the plight of racial justice, equity and inclusion. It is my strong belief that Soo Kim would be committed to inclusion which leads to growth in the America of our dreams. He will honor the spirit and the law representing the best in American ideals … he is one of us.”

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Broadcasting & Cable | by John Eggerton