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Saga Names Warren S. Lada as Chairman, Rejects Buyout


Saga Communications
Saga Communications

Saga Communications has announced that Warren S. Lada has been elected as the Chairman of the company's board of directors. He's been a member of the board since May 2018, after serving as Chief Operating Officer of the company from March, 2016 to June, 2018 and, more recently, as interim President and CEO from August, 2022 to December 6. Lada replaces Gary G. Stevens, who has been serving as interim Chairman since August 24. Stevens will continue to serve as a member of the board.

In addition, the company announced that Christopher Forgy, the company's President and CEO, has been appointed as a director for Saga to fill the board vacancy created by the death of Edward K. Christian. Forgy is not expected to be named to any committees of the board.

"On behalf of Saga, I would like to thank Warren and Gary for their hard work and faithful service in their respective interim roles," said Forgy. "Ed's passing left a hole in our leadership ranks, and Warren and Gary admirably stepped up at a pivotal time when we needed them most. The entire Board and executive management team are truly grateful for all they have done to lead us over the past months."

Also, Saga has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share and a special cash dividend of $2 per share on its Class A common stock. The dividend will be paid on January 13, 2023, to shareholders of record on December 21. The amount of the payment to be made will be approximately $13.6 million. The quarterly and special cash dividends will be funded by cash on the company's balance sheet. Including this dividend, the company will have paid over $106.6 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012.

"We are very pleased that our strong capital position and operating performance allowed us to declare another regular quarterly cash dividend and a special cash dividend," added Forgy. "We are excited to continue our commitment to provide a meaningful cash return to our shareholders through the declarations of these dividends."

Additionally, Saga's board received and ultimately rejected a confidential, unsolicited, and non-binding conditional indication of interest to acquire the company reportedly by Jeff Warshaw of Connoisseur Media. Saga said that the board did not feel that the offer provided sufficient evidence of ability to obtain the required financing, saying "the result would have been a takeover of the company by a smaller broadcaster, to be soon followed by a significant leveraging of the company's cash and other assets to finance the transaction through borrowing and issuing preferred equity."

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