Byron Allen, TV producer and media mogul, signaled he’s interested in potentially acquiring Tegna Inc. after the company’s proposed buyout by hedge fund Standard General LP fell apart.
“It’s more challenging, but there’s a way to get a deal done of that size,” he said on Bloomberg Television. “It’s key to be clear with regulators of what you want to do. I don’t think we will have an issue there whatsoever.”
Tegna, which operates dozens of U.S. television stations, officially terminated its proposed acquisition by Standard General after failing to win regulatory approval. That means banks are no longer obligated to fund around $8.2 billion of debt they had promised.
Allen said buying Tegna aligns with his company’s vision to invest in TV stations affiliated with the Big Four networks: ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Allen Media Group LLC, which he founded, owns Entertainment Studios Inc., The Weather Channel and several network-affiliated stations. Tegna is the largest owner of Big Four affiliates, according to its website.
Allen also said he’s bidding for BET Media Group, the Paramount Global unit that runs the cable TV channels Black Entertainment Television and VH1. He reiterated that it would be valuable for BET Media Group to be under Black ownership.
“I’m rooting for Black ownership when it comes to BET and VH1,” he said. “That will be a transformative acquisition — nothing but a win-win for whoever gets it.”