Storer Communications Inc. yesterday lost a major round in its bid to block an effort by a dissident shareholders' group to oust Storer's directors.
The Federal Communications Commission turned aside Storer's request that the group's effort be subjected to a full review by the FCC, including public hearings.
The investor group said earlier this month it would try to replace Storer's directors at the company's annual meeting May 7 so it can then liquidate the broadcasting concern.
The group, called the Commitee for Full Value of Storer Communications, has said it owns 5.3 percent of Storer's shares and is led by Coniston Partners, a New York investment firm.
Because Storer owns seven television stations, the company wanted the FCC to first fully examine whether the public interest would be served by the proposed change of directors. However, James C. McKinney, chief of the FCC's mass media bureau, said the commission's action "lets the proxy fight go forward."
The FCC accepted the investor group's contention that control of the company rests with the shareholders and that a change in the membership of the board of directors would not constitute a transfer of control of the TV stations. Before the FCC's announcement, Storer had said its board voted unanimously to "vigorously oppose" the investor group's efforts.
The dissidents said they want to sell off the company's TV stations and its cable-TV holdings because they contend Storer's assets are worth substantially more than is reflected in the price of Storer's stock. Yesterday, the stock jumped $1.37 1/2 a share, to $71.87 1/2, in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.