Open letter to FCC officials supporting Standard General’s purchase of TEGNA

The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel


Federal Communications Commission

45 L Street, NE

Washington, DC 20554

Dear Chairwoman Rosenworcel and FCC Commissioners:

I write in strong support of Standard General’s application to acquire media giant TEGNA and bring much-needed diversity and localism to America’s broadcasting landscape.

As CEO of Marshall Broadcasting Group — which previously owned Fox affiliates in Iowa, Louisiana and Texas — I can speak firsthand to the importance of people of color having a seat at a table that’s largely bereft of diverse representation. I also can speak to the noble character and ethical business practices of Soo Kim — unlike those who’ve tried to cast aspersions on him and this deal. Kim is a man of immense integrity who is committed to transforming the media landscape to make it more reflective of the country he loves dearly. 

No “Johnny Come Lately,” Kim is an accomplished, successful broadcast media owner who has consistently succeeded in promoting equity and inclusion in his many business endeavors. Soo is the right man, the right minority, at the right time — despite what others with spurious motives might suggest.

The Standard General-TEGNA acquisition is undoubtedly in the “public interest,” despite the inaccurate and misleading claims in a recent letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other special interests looking to block the deal for their own financial gain (as reported by Bloomberg). Instead, I would direct your attention to a recent letter by Congressman Troy Carter, a Congressional Black Caucus leader, who wrote:

“The Standard General-TEGNA merger represents a golden opportunity for someone who comes from a community of color to continue to achieve success…” Or consider the letter by Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA), a woman of both African American and API decent, who wrote: “If the transaction goes through, a person of color would own and operate a major broadcast station group. Based on my research, the new entity would be the largest minority-owned broadcast station group in America.”

Reps. Carter and Strickland are right: In a nation that’s fast becoming “majority-minority,” Americans are interested in real equity, real diversity and real ownership — not more window-dressing. The Standard General-TEGNA deal represents an opportunity to move past gimmicks and so-called “sidecar” arrangements. It is an opportunity to give a minority a genuine opportunity to sit at the table of media ownership.

My message is this: Recognize Standard General’s acquisition of TEGNA for exactly what it is: A legitimate blueprint for how to give minorities the seat at the table we richly deserve. I urge you and your colleagues to show real leadership and approve the Standard General-Tegna merger. DOJ should resolve any issues and existing conflicts, and the FCC should look to make history and swiftly approve this deal.


Pluria Marshall Jr.

Chief Executive Officer

Marshall Broadcasting Group, Inc.