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Connecticut Broadcasting School Reopens

FARMINGTON, CONN.: Classes are on track to begin again at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, the largest of its type in the country. The 45-year-old institution was suddenly shuttered March 4 when its primary lender seized its bank accounts. Students who had paid $12,000 for a four-month curriculum were one week from graduation. Portfolios and projects were locked down. The school filed for bankruptcy, and the state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal stepped in. Blumenthal’s office brokered a deal with the federal bankruptcy court in Boston and announced yesterday that classes would resume.

“An interim trustee has been appointed by the bankruptcy court on behalf of CSB to conduct an orderly liquidation,” the attorney general’s office said.

The deal will allow the 400 students at CSB’s 24 nationwide campuses to graduate, and will refund deposits on future sessions.

CSB was sold in 2003 by founder Dick Robinson by DLJ Growth Partners, a private equity affiliate of Credit Suisse First Boston, for $50 million. DLJ’s banker, PNC Financial of Pittsburgh, froze the school’s accounts while its administration sought funding. The sequence of events described by PeHub’s Dan Primack indicated the closure was abrupt and ill-planned.

“In early March, CSB management suddenly realized that its checks were bouncing,” he wrote. “The reason was that PNC had seized the company’s assets, without first informing either the school or DLJ Growth Equity.”

The Hartford Courant reported the closure was so sudden that students had to leave portfolios behind. One administrator who requested anonymity told the newspaper that school officials were told at 4 p.m. to vacate the campus by 5 p.m.

The school was founded in 1964 by Robinson, a local broadcaster who is now retired. – Deborah D. McAdams