Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Media General Urges Shareholders to Reject Hedge Fund Move

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Media General Urges Shareholders to Reject Hedge Fund Move

Article excerpt

Media General Inc., a newspaper publisher and television station operator, on Tuesday urged shareholders to oppose directors nominated to its board by a hedge fund seeking to improve profitability at the family-owned company.

The note included in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission continues the ongoing proxy battle between the publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Tampa Tribune and Winston-Salem Journal, and the New York investment group Harbinger Capital Partners.

"The board does not believe this is in the company's best interest and strongly urges you not to sign any proxy cards sent to you by Harbinger," the company wrote in its preliminary proxy statement for its annual meeting April 24.

Media General also said shareholders can revoke any proxy cards already sent to Harbinger, the company's second-largest shareholder with around 20 percent of the company's Class A shares.

The company is controlled by the family of its chairman, Stewart Bryan. He and his family own most of the company's Class B supervoting shares, which elect 70 percent of Media General's board. The other directors are elected by holders of the company's Class A shares.

In January, Harbinger disclosed plans to nominate three directors to the board, hoping to rehabilitate the struggling media company. It had said it is not looking to change the company's dual-class stock structure.

Harbinger and Media General have been at odds since then, exchanging letters in which Marshall N. …

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