Standard General held a media conference on Jan. 23 and filed a response to critics with the FCC arguing that the deal was in the public interest and that delays in approving its proposed acquisition of Tegna had cost it at least $22 million, enough to hire 422 news employees at the Tegna stations. 

The joint filing by lawyers representing Standard General, Tegna and the Cox Media Group with the FCC comes at the end of the comment period for the FCC’s review of the proposed acquisition. 

Speaking with reporters on a virtual call, Standard General’s managing partner and chief investment officer Soohyung (“Soo”) Kim argued that the transaction was in the public interest given their commitments to local news and would advance the cause of diversity in broadcast TV ownership by creating the largest minority-owned, woman led broadcaster. 

“We believe in the power and the value of local news and we want to make it better by helping the industry evolve to meet it challenges of the digital age,” Kim said, pointing to his track record in investing in local news. “The track record speaks for itself. We have never reduced local content. We’ve increased newsroom staffing at our current stations by 20%. In fact, in our 12 year history in broadcasting we’ve added more than 40,000 hours of local news. We’ve been clear from the beginning that we intend to grow the new operations and last month to be submitted formal commitments to our regulators….not to reduce jobs for at least two years.”

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TV Tech | by George Winslow