Tegna names Michael Steib new CEO

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Tegna has announced that Michael Steib, 48, will succeed David Lougee, 65, as president, CEO and a member of its board of directors starting Aug. 12, 2024.

The announcement was made June 17, 2024, and included news that the company is adding two new board members. 

Steib is currently CEO of Artsy, the world’s largest online platform for discovering and collecting art, after serving as President and CEO of XO Group, parent company of The Knot.

Previously, he spent 10 years in executive positions at NBCUniversal and Google’s video advertising team.

After Steib takes over, Lougee is expected to retire and take on the role of senior adviser. 

Tegna owns 68 television stations scattered across 54 markets, which includes 64 news brands. Along with other broadcast companies, Tegna has seen an upheaval in its linear TV business thanks to cord-cutting. It has expanded into other areas of media, including launching digital networks such as the True Crime Network and Quest. It also operates a local sports podcast network, Locked On.

Steib’s history of running digital properties and ad-supported businesses could provide the company with a different angle as it moves forward. His recent experience with consumer-focused brands Artsy and The Knot could also bring a fresh take on ecommerce and digital marketing to Tegna, at a time when many media companies are exploring new places to offer content and sell ads. 

That said, Steib’s experience is slanted more toward the ad sales part of the business, whereas Lougee had experience running local TV newsrooms and stations. 

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“Dave (Lougee) has had a great run at Tegna. 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,” said Chairman of the Board Howard Elias in a statement. 

“Mike (Steib) 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 future at a time of unprecedented change in our industry,” Elias continued. 

“I believe deeply in the power of local news to connect our communities and strengthen our democracy,” said Steib. “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.”

“I am confident that Mike 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,” Lougee said in the statement.

Tegna’s board of directors, as part of its regular refreshment process, has appointed two new independent directors, Catherine Dunleavy, a senior finance and media executive formerly 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, 2024.

Dunleavy is the former President of the travel lifestyle brand Away. She joined Away as chief financial officer in 2020 after three years at Nike, most recently as vice president and chief financial officer, global operations, technology and vice president, strategic investments.

She has extensive media experience from her 16 years at NBCUniversal, where she served in numerous roles, including chief financial officer of the cable entertainment group and executive vice president, content distribution. She began her career at General Electric in the Manufacturing Management Program and was selected for its highly competitive corporate audit staff program where she completed five years of rotational assignments across GE’s global businesses.

She has had previous public company board experience and is a qualified financial expert.

Denmark West leads Market Intelligence and Strategic Engagements at X, The Moonshot Factory, a division of Alphabet.

He has extensive experience in the technology industry, expertise in corporate finance and operations, as well as public company board experience. He previously spent eight years as a general partner at Connectivity Ventures and seven years at Viacom, including as president of digital Media at BET Networks and executive vice president and chief of operations at MTV Networks (now Viacom Media Networks).

Earlier in his career, he spent six years at Microsoft in strategy and corporate development roles.

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