Gray to manage most Young stations


The lenders who have bid to acquire Young Broadcasting have told the bankruptcy court they plan to hire Gray Television to manage most of the stations (but not KRON-TV San Francisco). A judge is set to rule today on whether to approve the $220 million sale.

The new owner is to be called New Young Broadcasting Holding Co. Inc. We still don’t know who the owners would be, although that will have to be disclosed when the deal is filed with the FCC. For now, the documents are all signed by Wachovia as agent bank for the lender group.

If Judge Arthur Gonzalez approves the sale of Young’s stations in 10 markets to the lender group, they’ve filed a proposed management agreement with the court to have Gray Television manage the Big Four network affiliate stations in seven markets.

The list:

* Nashville TN: WKRN-TV ABC

* Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY: WTEN-TV and satellite WCDC-TV, both ABC

* Richmond VA: WRIC-TV ABC
* Green Bay WI: WBAY-TV ABC

* Davenport IA-Rock Island-Moline IL: KWQC-TV NBC
* Lafayette LA: KLFY-TV CBS

* Sioux Falls, SD: KELO-TV CBS. KELO also has MyNetworkTV on a DTV multicast, and has three satellites, KDLO-TV & KPLO-TV, both Sioux Falls, and KCLO-TV Rapid City SD

Gray would be paid an annual fee of $2.2 million, plus a bonus for exceeding broadcast cash flow (BCF) targets. The baseline BCF for 2010 is $38.6 million. Gray will also receive bonus payments if the stations under its management are sold for a total price exceeding $250 million. The management agreement will take effect on the 11th day after the sale is approved and run through December 31, 2012.

Not included in the Gray management contract:

* Knoxville TN: WATE-TV ABC

* Lansing MI: WLNS-TV CBS

* San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA: KRON-TV MyNetworkTV