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U.S. TV firm Tegna defeats hedge fund Standard General in proxy vote

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By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON, May 7 (Reuters) - Tegna shareholders re-elected all 12 directors to the U.S. regional TV station operator's board, handing victory to management and rebuffing hedge fund Standard General after it tried for a second time to add new directors.

Preliminary vote counts showed that all 12 directors were re-elected, the company said in a statement on Friday.

"We are deeply gratified by this clear vote of confidence from our shareholders, and we continue to benefit from the input we received from the many shareholders we engaged with," board chairman Howard Elias said in a statement.

The result marks the second consecutive loss for Standard General, which had nominated three directors this year. The fund also lost in 2020 when it had nominated four directors, including its founder Soohyung Kim.

The hedge fund, which owns 7% of Tegna's stock, had asked the company to review operations with an eye to improving performance.

The company, which is valued at $2.6 billion, has seen its stock price climb 42% since January.

Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, whose recommendations are widely followed on corporate votes, recommended that investors re-elect all company directors.

The vote at Tegna is one of the few proxy contest that has proceeded to a vote this year as other campaigns have been settled between the activist and company.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Edmund Blair)