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NASDAQ Finalizes Young’s Delisting

NEW YORK:The NASDAQ Stock Market today said it’s filing the final paperwork to delist the common stock Class A of Young Broadcasting. Young’s shares were suspended Jan. 27, and have not traded on NASDAQ since that time. NASDAQ must formally notify the Securities and Exchange Commission to complete the delisting, which then becomes effective 10 days after the necessary form is filed.

Young (YBTVA) dropped into the Pink Sheets when the NASDAQ initially notified it of delisting, rather than counter with a compliance plan. The company had already missed a $6.1 million interest payment, and would miss another one for $4.5 million in the weeks again. Young filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on Feb. 13. Infighting over the bankruptcy soon ensued when one creditor opposed the company’s bankruptcy counsel. Thomas Allan said shares of Young were sold without his knowledge from a trust in which he was a beneficiary. Allan and Hela Miodownik objected to Young’s representation by Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP in bankruptcy court because the firm had served as outside representation previously.

Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein dismissed Allan and Miodownik’s appeal yesterday.

“Whatever impact retaining Sonnenschein has on Debtors will be felt by them directly, and by Allan--were he a current shareholder--only indirectly,” Hellerstein wrote. “The alleged effect on his pecuniary interest is impersonal, highly attenuated and likely ephemeral in light of debtor’s financial condition. Miodownik, who claims to own 105 shares of Young Broadcasting stock suffers from the same multiple standing defects as Allan.”

Young was founded as a family business that went public and started buying TV stations in the 1980s. Vince Young, son of the founder, remains chairman and CEO of the company. In 1999, Young bought KRON-TV, then the NBC affiliate in San Francisco, for $823 million--a record sum for a TV station. NBC soon after pulled its affiliate and bought a station in the market, leaving KRON to scramble. The situation decimated the value of the station, which Young has been unsuccessfully trying to sell. -- Deborah D. McAdams