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Large Local TV Station Owner Tegna Says NBCUniversal And Google Alum Michael Steib Will Succeed Dave Lougee As CEO This Summer

Tegna, one of the top local TV station owners in the U.S., says former NBCUniversal and Google exec Michael Steib will succeed David Lougee as CEO in August.

After leaving his post as president, CEO and director, Lougee will become a senior advisor to the company.

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Lougee, 65, became CEO in 2017 after a 10-year run as president of Tegna Media. Tegna was created in 2015 when Gannett separated its print and broadcast assets into separate companies. (The name Tegna is a partial anagram of “Gannett.”)

Last year, the proposed acquisition of Tegna by private equity firm Standard General was abandoned after regulators raised concerns about the potentially negative impact of the $8.6 billion deal on the workforce and consumers. The succession process has been under way since around the time the deal was terminated.

Steib is currently CEO of Artsy, an online platform for discovering and collecting art. He was previously CEO of XO Group, parent company of The Knot. Before that, he spent 10 years in executive roles at NBCU and Google, “launching, scaling, and acquiring advertising-supported businesses,” according to a press release.

Along with the change in the corner office, Tegna also said its board of directors is adding two independent members. The new directors are Catherine Dunleavy, a senior finance and media executive former president of Away; and Denmark West, who heads market intelligence and strategic engagements at X, The Moonshot Factory, a division of Alphabet. They will join the board on July 1. The company said the additions resulted from the “regular refreshment process” of the board.

Lougee “has had a great run at Tegna,” Chairman of the Board Howard Elias said. “The board and I deeply appreciate all he has done to build the company into an industry leader with a strong financial position and a commitment to the communities in which we operate, but we understand his desire to retire as CEO at this juncture. Over the past year, the board has engaged in a thoughtful and comprehensive succession process to identify Tegna’s future leadership. We are fortunate that Mike Steib will be Dave’s successor working with a top-notch team.”

Steib, Elias continued, “is a dynamic executive with technology and digital savvy, a passion for local journalism, deep advertising and media experience, a history of developing high performance teams, and a track record of successfully building businesses and driving business model transformation. We are confident he has the broad skill set that will be necessary to chart Tegna’s future at a time of unprecedented change in our industry.”

“I believe deeply in the power of local news to connect our communities and strengthen our democracy,” Steib said. “And I am excited about the many opportunities to leverage technology to enhance this service and generate substantial value for shareholders. With strong operations in more than 50 key markets across America, a history of exceptional journalism, strong cash flow, and a talented and passionate team, Tegna is incredibly well positioned to seize this moment and build a bright future for local news and community in our country.”

Lougee said Steib is “the right CEO to take Tegna into the future at a time of profound change in our industry, and I look forward to helping him in any way I can. I am very proud of all we have accomplished over the last seven years and have been fortunate to work with a terrific board, superb management team, and dedicated employees.”

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