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Standard General calls on Tegna to open books, citing allegations of racial bias

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April 8 (Reuters) - Tegna Inc shareholder Standard General called on the company on Thursday to open its books and records to investigate what it claimed as a "broad pattern of bias and racially-insensitive behavior" at the U.S. regional TV station operator.

Citing media reports and a scathing letter it received from a former Tegna employee, Standard General alleged that the company management had shown bias towards employees over many years based on race, ethnicity and physical disability.

Tegna said while its "record is not perfect", increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) continues to be a top priority across the company.

"The distorted picture of TEGNA and its stations painted by Standard General to advance its ill-conceived proxy fight will not distract from our significant focus on DE&I as well as our strong financial performance," it said in a statement.

Last month, Standard General called for an investigation into a 2014 incident in which Chief Executive Officer Dave Lougee mistook a Black executive for a hotel car valet. Lougee recently apologized about the incident. (Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)