Monday, October 25, 2021

Who will own KHOU and TEGNA a year from now?


Let's talk about TEGNA and who might own the giant television group eventually.

If you're in Texas (or many other parts in the United States), chances are TEGNA owns a station near you.  In Texas alone, the group owns KHOU Houston, WFAA Dallas, KENS San Antonio, KVUE Austin, KCEN Waco, KAGS College Station, KYTX Tyler, KIII Corpus Christi, KBMT-KJAC Beaumont, KXVA Abilene and KIDY San Angelo.

Announced last week, Byron Allen, owner of Entertainment Studios, has enough investors to help him in a $23-a-share takeover of TEGNA. He also owns the Weather Channel and other local TV stations.

“Local news matters, you’re not going to replace that any time soon,” Bloomberg reported Allen saying during an  interview at the Milken Global Conference in California. 

Allen, however is not the only TEGNA suitor, which has bigger media implications. 

Back in September, TEGNA issued the statement, "TEGNA today confirmed the company has recently received acquisition proposals. Consistent with its fiduciary duty to TEGNA shareholders, the Board will carefully review and evaluate these proposals."

A few days after that, there were apparent side effects in Houston radio and beyond. Yes, seems odd that the potential purchase of a television broadcaster could affect radio DJs, but it looks like that happened.

Over at Houston's 97.1 Country Legends KTHT, morning show duo Dan Gallo (former 100.3 KILT) and Chuck Akers (former 101 KLOL) were both let go a few days later after the TEGNA statement. 

Akers explained more on Facebook:

"After more than a decade doing a morning radio show on Houston’s Country Legends 97.1, I became part of a corporate cutback this week and was laid off. I can’t say I was surprised. The company I worked for was bought out by a mega-investment firm a few years ago and these deals often turn into a circus act of budget cuts. That knowledge didn’t make the news any easier to hear.

I won’t miss working for a giant corporation in a hi-rise office tower. I won’t miss getting two dozen company emails a day that have nothing to do with me or my job, and I certainly won’t miss the downright silliness of fortune 500 programs and rituals. What I will miss is doing great radio – and doing it with amazingly talented people." 

Radio staffers at San Antonio's Y100 KCYY and 99.5 KISS FM San Antonio were also released as well as others around the country.

That's because 97.1 Country Legends and the other stations are owned by Cox Media Group.  RAMP reported that Cox Media Group's majority owner, Apollo Global Management, was "tightening its proverbial belt ahead of a possible multi-billion-dollar acquisition of TEGNA." 

But's that's not all as they say in the infomercial world.

Standard General is also bidding for TEGNA. 

So who will win out? Allen? Apollo? Standard General?

Bloomberg is reporting that TEGNA is concerned, "about Apollo’s ownership stake in Cox Media Group." That's because TEGNA and CMG own TV stations in some of the same markets which makes things messy with the Feds when merging operations. 

Stay tuned as we get more developments, just like your favorite news anchor says on the evening newscast. 

CONTACT: Leave me a Houston or Texas media news tip | COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here