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CEO Of Local TV Giant Tegna Says FCC Chair, Biden Administration Have Placed “A Constraint Around Our Neck” With “Antiquated” Regulations

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Dave Lougee, CEO of local TV giant Tegna, said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel and the Biden Administration have put “a restriction around our neck” with their enforcement of “antiquated” regulations.

The exec was asked about the proposed acquisition of Tegna by private equity firm Standard General during an appearance Thursday at Gabelli Funds’ annual Media & Entertainment Symposium.

The $8.6 billion transaction was terminated by the companies last year after scrutiny by the FCC. The commission is now led by Democrats, in keeping with the custom of the political party in the White House dictating the makeup of regulatory agencies.

Along with the Standard General deal, the FCC has targeted “sidecar” deals used by Nexstar and otherwise put local broadcasters on notice about their strict stance. “We don’t imagine a scenario where for us there’s going to be any specific M&A opportunities in the broadcast space” during the current FCC/Administration setup, Lougee said.

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