9News parent company TEGNA denied a request from their largest shareholder to review documentation on alleged incidents of racial bias at 9News and other stations around the country.
Earlier this month that shareholder, New York-based investment firm Standard General, accused TEGNA of exhibiting a pattern of racist behavior among senior management and at local stations like 9News.
Standard General explicitly referenced former 9News reporter Lori Lizarraga’s disturbing claims of racial bias at Denver’s largest station in their federal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
The firm demanded to review “documents reflecting employee allegations of racial, ethnic or disability bias, including maintaining a hostile work environment, against senior management at the Company over the past five years, including those reported to have allegedly occurred at TEGNA stations located in Denver, Des Moines, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay, and documents sufficient to show the resolution of such allegations, including the Board’s role in addressing any such allegations.”
In a letter to shareholders last week responding to a presentation from TEGNA management, Standard General said TEGNA refused to provide documents on the allegations.
What minimal information was offered by TEGNA was only made under the condition it be attached to a non-disclosure agreement, the letter said.
After receiving multiple correspondences related to acts of widespread discrimination at the Company, we have requested records related to what TEGNA has done to address discrimination. The Company has refused to provide us with information on these detailed allegations and, for the little information they have offered, they have asked us to sign a non-disclosure agreement. [emphasis added]
Standard General also argued that TEGNA management is attempting to use the stock’s recent positive performance to distract from TEGNA’s alleged problems with racial bias, and that CEO Dave Lougee and the two longest-serving board members need to go.
— CO Peak Politics (@COpeakpolitics) April 28, 2021
TEGNA flatly denied the accusations concerning 9News and other stations, calling the attacks “unfounded.”
With TEGNA proxy advisers (firms that provide shareholder services and advice) backing management’s board nominees, it appears 9News and their corporate overlords may escape further scrutiny, for now.
However, TEGNA’s annual shareholder meeting is just around the corner on May 7th and Standard General’s next move remains to be seen.
Don’t put away the popcorn here just yet.