Court OKs Pappas Sale

A federal judge has approved the sale of Pappas bankrupt TV stations to a group back by private-equity investors. Judge Peter Walsh of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court the Third Circuit OK’d the transfer of 10 TV stations to New World TV Group for a bid of $260 million.
New World is backed by Fortress Credit Corp., a Pappas creditor; Angelo Gordon & Co., and Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus is the New York investment group that owns 80 percent of Chrysler as well as seven TV stations managed by its holding company, Four Points Media Group. Those TV stations are in Salt Lake City; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Austin, Texas; and Providence, R.I.

Visalia, Calif., Pappas filed Chapter 11 last May on 13 of its TV stations under the burden of more than $536 million in debt. The company’s assets at the time were valued at $460 million. Pappas said poor ratings on its CW affiliates, DTV transition expenses and its erstwhile effort to launch Azteca America.

Among the stations listed in the bankruptcy, KCWK-TV in Yakima, Wash., was shut down last May. KREN-TV in Reno was contracted to Entravision for $4 million. The remaining stations include:
KMPH-TV, the Fox affiliate in Fresno;
KFRE-TV, the CW in Fresno, Calif.;
KDBC-TV, the CBS in El Paso, Texas;
KAZH-LP, a TuVision affiliate in Baytown, Texas;
KPTM-TV, the Fox in Omaha;
KXVO-TV, the CW in Omaha;
WCWG-TV, the CW in Lexington, N.C.;
KPTH-TV, the Fox in Sioux City, Iowa;
KMEG-TV, the CBS in Sioux City;
KTNC-TV, a TuVision in San Francisco.

New World TV Group officials said they’ve already figured out how to save $3 million in operating expenses through facility consolidation, different network affiliations and “more favorable vendor contracts.”