African American Businessman Byron Allen Poised To Acquire Tegna In A Deal Worth $8B

Byron Allen, the 1980s comedian-turned-media-mogul, aims to acquire Tegna Inc in an $8 billion deal.

The news comes months after it was reported that Allen’s Weather Channel’s business had taken a hit due to the pandemic as the TV advertising dried up, leading to piling debt load.

Tegna, formerly owned by Gannett Co Inc, is a chain of 64 TV and radio stations that span 50 markets across the U.S. The deal could significantly boost Allen Media Group, which has amassed 33 local TV network affiliate stations.

Allen — who came to fame at the age of 18 when he co-hosted the talk show “Real People” starting in 1979, previously tried to make a transformative acquisition and failed.

In 2018 he wanted to participate in Tribune’s television stations’ $4 billion auctions and could not line up co-investors.

According to the New York Post, Allen isn’t the only entity bidding for Tegna – meaning he’ll have to prove he is the man for the job.

The paper also reports that Allen is up against Soo Kim, the CEO of Standard General hedge fund, the majority shareholder of the Bally’s casino empire.

Additionally, some questions were raised about Allen’s compensation package, which he took even after The Weather Channel took a significant financial hit.

“Allen made some lenders skittish after an audit they conducted this summer showed he’d drawn a hefty compensation package from his company, which had recent annual revenue of around $600 million, even as business was declining, sources said. Allen paid himself a total compensation package of $50 million in 2020,” the Post states.

TGNA shares traded higher by 1.53% at $19.96 on the last check Monday.

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Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.

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