Harbinger Gets Media General Advisory Win

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Hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners said Monday a proxy advisory firm has recommended that Media General Inc. shareholders vote for one of its proposed board nominees.

Harbinger said in January it would nominate three directors to Media General’s board, including former broadcasting executive J. Daniel Sullivan, investment manager F. Jack Liebau Jr. and turnaround consultant Eugene I. Davis. Harbinger holds about 18 percent of the company’s Class A shares.

Glass Lewis has recommended shareholders vote for Sullivan and not vote for any of Media General’s nominees, according to Harbinger.

“We believe that nominee Sullivan has extensive operating experience in the media industry which could prove valuable to the company during its turn-around period,” the firm said in a statement.

A representative for Media General could not be immediately reached for comment.

Harbinger has said it is not looking to change the dual-class stock structure at Media General, which is controlled by the family of its chairman, Stewart Bryan. The family owns most of the company’s Class B shares, which elect 70 percent of Media General’s board.

Harbinger recently had success gaining seats on the board of the New York Times Co.

Shareholders will vote on the Media General board seats at an April 24 annual meeting.

Media General is the publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Tampa Tribune and Winston-Salem Journal. In addition to its three metropolitan newspapers, Media General owns 22 daily community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, more than 150 weekly newspapers and other publications and 23 network-affiliated television stations.

Shares of Richmond, Va.-based Media General slipped 22 cents to $14.51 in afternoon trading.

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