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New York private investment firms to acquire KREM, KSKN owner Tegna

Private investment firms Standard General and Apollo Global Management are acquiring Tegna, which owns Spokane television stations KREM and KSKN.  (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVI)
Private investment firms Standard General and Apollo Global Management are acquiring Tegna, which owns Spokane television stations KREM and KSKN. (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVI)

New York-based private investment firms Standard General and Apollo Global Management Inc. are acquiring Tegna Inc., the owner of local television stations KREM and KSKN.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Standard General agreed to pay $24 per share for Tegna, which will become a private company in a cash deal valued at $8.6 billion when including the assumption of debt, according to a company news release.

“As long-term investors in the television broadcasting industry, we have a deep admiration for Tegna and the stations it operates and, in particular, for Tegna’s talented employees and their commitment to serving their communities,” Soo Kim, founding partner of Standard General, said in the statement.

R.J. Merritt. president and station manager for KREM and KSKN, on Tuesday referred questions about the acquisition to Tegna corporate offices.

KREM and KSKN are expected to retain employees and continue operating under the Tegna name as part of the deal, Standard General spokesman Andy Brimmer said.

KREM is the CBS affiliate for the Spokane region with news broadcasts airing on KREM 2 and KSKN 22, a CW-affiliated station. KREM is also carried on cable systems in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, according to the station’s website.

Standard General said it is planning to invest in and grow the television stations it acquires from Tegna in the deal. The firm, however, will sell three Texas-based Tegna stations to Cox Media Group, if the transaction is completed.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year, pending Tegna shareholder and regulatory approval.

Standard Media CEO Deb McDermott will become CEO of Tegna following closure of the transaction.

McDermott has more than 20 years of experience leading broadcast groups, having previously served as chief operating officer of Media General and president and CEO of Young Broadcasting.

“We have a proven track record of working closely with employees to get the best out of an organization, and we are grounded in and passionate about the importance of strong, objective journalism and community service, built on a foundation of doing the right thing,” Standard Media CEO Deb McDermott, said in an email. “Tegna shares this commitment and we will continue to serve Tegna’s viewers, customers, and communities with professionalism and integrity upon close.”

Tegna, based in Tysons, Virginia, owns 64 television stations in 51 markets across the country, according to the company’s website.

Standard General, founded in 2007, manages capital for public and private pension funds, endowments, foundations and high net-worth clients.

Apollo Global Management describes itself as “a high-growth, global alternative asset manager” that manages more than $498 billion in assets.

In 2019, Apollo acquired Cox Media Group for more than $3 billion. That deal included 13 television stations, more than 50 radio stations and advertising businesses CoxReps and Gamut.

The acquisition also included three Ohio newspapers – Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News, in Hamilton – which were all repurchased by Cox Enterprises Inc. in 2020.

Apollo provided a $1.8 billion loan to Gannett owner New Media Investment Group in 2019 that went toward financing its merger with GateHouse Media to create the largest newspaper publisher in the nation. Gannett owns USA Today.

Apollo also acquired a $760 million stake in Dune producer Legendary Entertainment last month.

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