13 Pappas stations file Chapter 11


After refinancing talks broke down, several subsidiaries of Pappas Telecasting filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on Saturday. The move puts 13 of the 30 Pappas television stations under the protection of the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. “Though it was a very difficult decision, the Pappas entities included in the filing were compelled to do so as the conflicts with the mostly non-bank lenders allowed no other sensible option,” said founder and Chairman Harry Pappas in a statement.

Pappas Telecasting announced in December that it had retained Moelis & Company to assist it with a strategic review of its assets with a view to selling some of the stations (12/20/07 TVBR #247). To date, no sales have been announced.

The company statement issued over the weekend blamed the current tight credit market for its inability to come to terms with its non-bank lenders or to find other financing. Pappas Telecasting President and COO Dennis Davis noted that some of the stations bucked the current advertising downturn and posted revenue gains in Q1, even excluding political revenues. He mentioned KPTM Omaha and KMPH Fresno, in particular. Both are Fox affiliates.

The 13 Pappas stations (some full-power, some LPTVs) now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization are:

KMPH (Fox) Fresno, CA

KFRE (CW) Fresno, CA

KPTM (Fox) Omaha, NE

KXVO (CW) Omaha, NE

WCWG (CW) Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, NC

KPTH (Fox) Sioux City, IA

KMEG (CBS) Sioux City, IA

KTNC (TuVisión) San Francisco, CA

KAZH (TuVisión) Houston, TX

KDBC (CBS) El Paso, TX

KREN (CW) Reno, NV

KAZR (TuVisión) Reno, NV

KCWK (CW) Yakima, WA

Other subsidiaries of Pappas Telecasting own 17 television stations and two radio stations which are not involved in the Chapter 11 cases. The company says its relations with its other lenders “have been cooperative and non-adversarial.”