NY State NAACP President Backs Tegna Deal

(Image credit: Tegna)

NEW YORK—NAACP national board member and New York NAACP president Hazel N. Dukes has written a letter to the FCC “enthusiastically” supporting the merger of Standard General and Tegna and expressing “concern about a flawed regulatory process" that has delayed approval. 

Dukes, who has served in the past as the national president of the NAACP, noted that “as a woman and person of color, I was excited to hear that Standard General's acquisition of Tegna would create the most significant minority and women-owned media company. We need positive images and fewer stereotypes of people of color and women; this new organization will help tremendously.”

“While I also urge that the process be dealt with expeditiously, transparently, and without `backroom politics’ or bureaucratic delays, I understand that Chairwoman Rosenworcel has bowed to the pressure of those who accuse Soo Kim of not being the `right type of minority,” she wrote. “I am appalled that we still use this type of incendiary language to define a person of color who attempts to enter a particular `club’ they are not traditional members. Despite awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for approximately a year, the deal has been given yet another regulatory hurdle and placed before an Administrative Law Judge at the FCC. This action was deliberate and malicious and only happened because some deemed Soo Kim is considered not to be the `right type of minority.’ In a time when `equity’ is the watchword, this is unacceptable.”

Dukes also noted that “the research is in abundance about the current state of the media industry, minority media ownership is inexcusably low, and discrimination is very prevalent and persistent. Women and people of color who decide to make media their careers have fewer opportunities than their male or white peers….Standard General has not only publicly pledged to invest in local broadcasting and to preserve jobs, but they have also committed to directly impacting our communities to have a voice and to empower community journalism. Standard General-TEGNA plans to partner with community journalism groups and content creators to amplify their work and the communities they represent. Further, once approved, this new media group will build new partnership models to get diverse viewpoints and perspectives on the air and ensure that society can hear authentic voices.” 

“Given the recent regulatory hurdle thrown in front of this transaction, I would like to be one of the first to applaud Soo Kim, and Tegna’s current leadership, for continuing along this unprecedented path," Dukes concluded. “I want to be among the first to call for an expedited adjudication of this process, call on the FCC to vote, and take a step toward increasing diversity among media owners. Tegna and Standard General have received widespread and growing support, and interest groups and organizations have already filled the FCC docket with help.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.