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About Tegna Inc.

TEGNA is totally tuned into TV. With about 50 properties, the company operates one of the largest portfolio of television stations across the US, including affiliates of the four major broadcast networks in the top 25 markets. Besides broadcast TV, the company’s stations transmit news and entertainment for digital devices such as PCs and smartphones. TEGNA sells advertising, as well as the rights to carry its station’s signals to Pay-TV systems. The firm was formed in 2015 when Gannett spun off its TV stations and newspapers, including USA TODAY, into separate companies.

Operations

TEGNA makes money by selling advertising and marketing services (AMS); selling subscriptions to third parties that carry its stations' signal over their systems; and providing other services, such as program production. The company is the largest owner of stations that are affiliated with the big four networks -- NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX -- in the top 25 markets. It is the largest NBC affiliate group and the second largest CBS affiliate group. All total it has nearly 50 television stations and two radio stations in about 40 markets, covering approximately one-third of US television households. 

For its AMS revenue stream, TEGNA earns money by charging a fee for television commercials and digital ads. The company gathers revenue from over-the-top (OTT) video streaming through its Premion local advertising network. Premion allows local, regional, and national customers to place digital advertising on long-form programs across streaming devices, smart TVs, and web browsers. Price is determined based on multiple factors, including the time of day the ad is aired, the supply of available inventory, the station’s viewership ratings, and overall market conditions. AMS generates about 50% of revenue.

TEGNA also earns subscription revenue from retransmitting its signal to pay TV (cable and satellite providers) and OTT (online video) services. Subscriptions account for some 35% of company revenue. Political advertising and other services account for the rest.

 

Geographic Reach

TEGNA operates stations in more than 20 US states across the country from Georgia to Oregon, reaching about one-third of TV households in the US. Its biggest holdings are in Texas, where it owns 11 stations. Among its largest markets are Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, and Seattle-Tacoma.

Sales and Marketing

Customers that purchase TEGNA's advertising and marketing services include local, regional, and national advertisers across its markets. Subscription revenue customers include cable operators and satellite providers. The company has retransmission consent agreements with almost all cable operators and satellite providers for carriage of its television stations, and has retransmission agreements with major telecommunications companies. TEGNA has OTT distribution deals with major network partners and streaming services such as Hulu, YouTube TV, and Direct TV Now. 

The company spent about $10 million on advertising in 2018.

Financial Performance

TEGNA’s financial performance is up in years with national elections and the Olympics; typically revenue drops in years without them. As such, revenues have increased and decreased sporadically since 2015.

In 2018, revenue increased $304.3 million, or 16%, compared to 2017. The increase was primarily due to a boost in political revenue, thanks to boisterous mid-term elections. Also contributing to the increase was subscription revenue growth of $122.1 million, or 17%, primarily due to annual rate increases under existing retransmission agreements and increases from OTT streaming service providers.

Strong revenue growth contributed to a net income of $405.7 million in 2018, up 48% from $274 million in 2017. AMS benefited from Winter Olympic and Super Bowl advertising, the KFMB station acquisition, and digital advertising. A decline in tax payments, resulting primarily from lower tax rates following the enactment of the Tax Act, also helped boost profits. 

TEGNA had about $136 million in cash in 2018 compared to $99 million in 2017. Cash from operating activities was $527.2 million. Investing activities used $374.4 million, primarily due to the purchases of KFMB and property and equipment. Financing activities used another $145 million for debt activity and dividend payments. The company carries about $3 billion in long-term debt.

 

Strategy

As the consumption of content on digital platforms increases, TEGNA is focused on developing new ways of connecting with local audiences and enhancing digital capabilities. This includes initiatives designed to diversify web traffic sources, improve digital workflows, create digital-first newsrooms, and use analytics to better target audiences for clients. The company is also focused on completing acquisitions to expand its geographic footprint in growing markets with attractive demographics. 

More specifically, TEGNA is working on improving traffic via search engines like Google, growing its presence on YouTube, and launching new email newsletters. It has also integrated Snapchat into its on-air broadcasts, and produces “Verify” segments, through which journalists provide fact-checking on a variety of topics. TEGNA airs the segments on broadcast channels, posts them to social media channels, and shares them across desktop, digital, and mobile apps.

Other programming initiatives include partnering with Facebook to launch “An Imperfect Union”, a show it debuted ahead of the midterm elections to bring two people from opposing sides of an issue together for conversation. Its Daily Blast Live show, produced by KUSA in Denver, is available on Facebook and YouTube. TEGNA has also partnered with Twitter to live stream political debates, including the Texas Debate between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke, which was viewed by more than 500,000 people.

 

Mergers and Acquisitions

TEGNA is buying assets from Nexstar, its largest acquisition since becoming a pure play broadcaster in 2017. These 11 local television stations complement its existing portfolio of top affiliates and add four key markets to its political footprint so it can benefit from the expected record spending to occur around the 2020 presidential election. It has also announced the acquisition of Justice Network and Quest, two fast-growing networks that reach more than 87 million US TV homes. 

In 2019 TEGNA acquired stations in Toledo, Ohio and Midland-Odessa, Texas for approximately $108.9 million. WTO, the CBS affiliate in Toledo, and KWES, the NBC affiliate in Midland-Odessa, are strong local media brands in key markets that enhance the company's portfolio of Big 4 affiliates. KWES deepens its presence in high-growth Texas where TEGNA owns 11 stations, covering 87% of TV households in the state.

In 2018 TEGNA acquired assets in San Diego, including KFMB-TV (a CBS affiliate station on its primary channel, and a CW affiliate on multicast channel KFMB-D2) and radio broadcast stations KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM, for approximately $328.4 million. The deal added a new market to its portfolio: San Diego is the 29th largest US TV market with approximately 1 million households and the 17th largest radio market.

Company Background

TEGNA was formed in 2015 through a spin-off transaction that separated Gannett's publishing and broadcasting operations. The idea was to optimize profitability for each part of the previously larger single company. In 2017, TEGNA spun off its Cars.com business unit and sold its ownership stake in CareerBuilder.

Tegna Inc.

8350 BROAD ST STE 2000
Tysons, VA 22102-5151
Phone: 1 (703) 873-6600

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: TGNA
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
EVP and CFO: Victoria D. Harker
Chairman: Marjorie Magner
President and CEO: Gracia C. Martore
Employees (This Location): 148
Employees (All Locations): 5,336

Major Office Locations

Tysons, VA

Other Locations

Tucson, AZ
San Diego, CA
Denver, CO
Washington, DC
Jacksonville, FL
Saint Petersburg, FL
Seminole, FL
Atlanta, GA
Macon, GA
Boise, ID
Hoffman Estates, IL
Bangor, ME
Golden Valley, MN
Greensboro, NC
Buffalo, NY
Bryan, TX
Dallas, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Houston, TX
San Angelo, TX
Temple, TX