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Lenders to Take Over Young TV Stations

NEW YORK: Senior lenders will take over the 10 TV stations in the Young Broadcasting bankruptcy, according to insiders at attending a related hearing today. An asset auction had been scheduled for yesterday but was cancelled when it appeared to be moot. A hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York was held today.

“Lenders plan on taking all assets,” the source said.

A memo from Young Chairman Vincent Young was leaked earlier in the day. It was picked up by the Albany, N.Y., Times-Union, where Young owns ABC affiliate WTEN-TV.

“After speaking with the other qualified bidders, it became clear that they were not prepared to exceed that bid,” Young is quoted as saying in the memo. “It now appears that we will emerge from bankruptcy later this year with our lenders as our principal shareholders.”

Young filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February following two missed interest payments. The group has TV stations in San Francisco, Nashville, Tenn.; Albany, N.Y.; Adams, Mass.; Richmond, Va.; Green Bay, Wis.; Davenport, Iowa; Lansing, Mich.; Sioux Falls, Florence, Reliance and Rapid City, S.D., and Lafayette, La.

More TVB coverage of Young’s Chapter 11 odyssey
July 14, 2009: “Young Broadcasting Auction Cancelled”
“The Debtors, pursuant to the terms of the Bidding Procedures Order, have determined that the Auction is not necessary and hereby provide notice that the Auction is cancelled.”

July 2, 2009: “Young Broadcasting Auction Date Set”
The assets of Young Broadcasting will be put on auction July 14 in New York. Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, the law firm representing Young, told the media outlet there was a “healthy amount of interest” in the auction. Young owns 10 TV stations, including WKRN-TV, the ABC affiliate in Nashville, Tenn.

March 4, 2009
: “Young Files for Chapter 11”
“Our decision to restructure through a Chapter 11 filing will allow the company to bring its debt in line with current economic realities so that we can emerge a stronger and more financially secure company. It is important to note that we are restructuring our debt, not our operations,” said Vincent Young, YBTVA chairman.