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TEGNA Stations Debut “Mothers Matter” Investigation into Pregnancy-Related Deaths in the U.S.

McLEAN, VA – TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) announced “Mothers Matter,” a four-part digital, episodic investigation into the high death rate of American mothers from pregnancy related causes, will premiere on TEGNA stations’ digital platforms on October 18. The series, led by the award-winning Atticus investigative unit from WXIA in Atlanta, examines how the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is more than double that of other developed nations, with African American women being 3-4 times more likely to die from complications of childbirth than any other race in the U.S. The series is available for local on-air broadcast beginning October 22.

“Too many families lose a loved one each year from pregnancy-related causes,” said Erin Peterson, executive producer of the Mothers Matter investigation. “We explore why and what women and families can do to reverse the trend that is impacting women in every community across the country.”

“Mothers Matter” consists of four episodes:

  • Episode one: Kira and her husband Charles are anticipating the birth of their second son; instead, Charles has to contend with the shocking death of Kira within twelve hours of baby Langston’s arrival;
  • Episode two: Examines the causes of the high incidence of pregnancy-related deaths of African American women and the role race plays in medical care;
  • Episode three: Discusses how 50,000 mothers each year come close to death as a result of childbirth; and
  • Episode four: Offers a clear list of actionable steps moms-to-be can take, including ways to make sure there is accountability and that preventable deaths are avoided.

TEGNA’s local stations plan additional reporting across platforms, including:

  • WUSA/Washington, DC investigates stories in and around the nation’s capital including the high death rate of black moms in D.C. They also talk with a suburban Maryland father whose wife died post-childbirth, forcing him to return to his childhood home to raise twin sons.
  • KING/Seattle profiles local mothers, talks with the Washington Department of Health and lawmakers on the role race plays and shows how one area medical center is participating in a pilot program to lower maternal mortality rates.
  • KSDK/St. Louis highlights an innovative program at a local hospital that pre-screens expectant moms and a medical co-op that helps connect area black mothers with midwives and doulas to help ensure healthy deliveries.
  • KARE/Minneapolis highlights why Minnesota is one of the U.S. leaders in preventing pregnancy-related deaths and profiles Dr. Lisa Saul of the Local Maternal Mortality Review Project Committee on post-birth care for mothers.

“Mothers Matter” is the latest series from the award-winning producers, reporters, researchers and photojournalists from the Atticus investigative unit. The team’s investigations include: “Selling Girls” (2017), which investigated sex trafficking of children in America, drawing the attention of the U.S. State Department, which highlighted the series to encourage journalists from other nations to cover this important global issue; “Little Man Lost” (2018), which traced the disappearance of a two-year-old boy in Idaho; “Charlie Foxtrot” (2016-17), which drove policy changes for how the U.S. Military provides treatment and care for veterans suffering from PTSD; and “The Triangle” (2016), a raw look at the dramatic rise in heroin-related deaths in American suburbs, which helped to elevate the national opioid conversation and is now used as a regular part of addiction awareness and education.

TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is an innovative media company that serves the greater good of our communities. With 47 television stations and two radio stations in 39 markets, TEGNA delivers relevant content and information to consumers across platforms. It is the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets, reaching approximately one-third of all television households nationwide. Each month, TEGNA reaches 50 million adults on-air and approximately 30 million across its digital platforms. TEGNA has been consistently honored with the industry’s top awards, including Edward R. Murrow, George Polk, Alfred I. DuPont and Emmy Awards. TEGNA also delivers innovative and unparalleled solutions for advertisers through TEGNA Marketing Solutions (TMS). TMS is a one-stop shop that helps businesses thrive through an unmatched suite of services and solutions that reach consumers across television, email, social and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Premion, TEGNA’s OTT advertising service. Across platforms, TEGNA tells empowering stories, conducts impactful investigations and delivers innovative marketing solutions. For more information, visit

For media inquiries, contact:
Ellen Booth
TEGNA Corporate Communications

For investor inquiries, contact:
Jeffrey Heinz
Vice President, Investor Relations