In the first instance of a broadcaster asking the Federal Communications Commission to intervene in a proxy fight, Storer Communications Inc. yesterday asked the agency to dismiss an application filed by dissident shareholders seeking control of the company.
Last week, the "Committee for Full Value of Storer Communications Inc.," led by the New York investment firm Coniston Partners, told the FCC of its efforts to seek votes of other shareholders to elect a new board of directors at Storer's upcoming annual meeting May 7 and petitioned the FCC to allow transfer of ownership.
The group said at that time it was soliciting proxies to elect an opposition board of directors to liquidate the company and achieve full value for shares currently undervalued on the stock market.
If Storer's request is granted, the dissident group would have to refile a lengthier form and public hearings would be held on the matter, essentially buying time for Storer to talk to shareholders about the opposition's proxies. The shareholders' group issued a statement saying it believed the FCC would "act consistently with its previously stated position that it will not take sides in a contested situation."
Storer operates cable television TV systems in 18 states, including in Prince George's County, and owns seven television stations. FCC officials said action on the request would be taken quickly.