The new board of directors at Fisher Communications has elected Paul A. Bible as the non-executive Chairman of the Board. Former Chairman Michael Wortsman was not re-elected to a seat in the contentious May shareholders meeting which saw dissidents gain two seats for a total of three on the nine-member board.
Bible himself was elected in a deal the board cut with dissident shareholder Mario Gabelli, whose mutual funds are Fisher’s largest investor, back in 2009. Bible, however, supported the management slate in the most recent election, while Gabelli supported part of the four-member dissident slate. FrontFour Capital principal David Lorber, who was elected to the board with Bible in 2009, recruited the anti-management slate. He continues to serve on the board with the two newly elected dissidents.
“Over the past several years, Fisher has transformed itself into a diversified local media company by being at the forefront of innovation and leveraging its market leading stations and digital portfolio to drive peer-leading growth and profitability,” said Bible in a statement issued by the company. “In my new role as Chairman, I look forward to working with the Board and management to build on this momentum and to delivering lasting value to our shareholders, advertising partners, viewers and listeners.”
A practicing attorney for more than 45 years, Bible is currently a senior partner in the Reno, NV office of Lewis & Roca LLP. In addition to Fisher, he currently serves as a non-director member of the independent governance committee of AMERCO, the publicly-traded parent company of U-Haul International.
Prior to joining Lewis & Roca in 2010 Bible had been a principal in Bible Mousel PC, a Nevada law firm specializing in gaming law. He is a former Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, and the Truckee Meadows Community College Foundation.
Bible earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. After law school, he served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the US Army and is a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict.
RBR-TVBR observation: That Vietnam War experience may help the new chairman keep some perspective as the fighting rages in the Fisher boardroom over whether to put some or all of the company up for sale. At least there won’t be any bullets flying.