Founder Don Cornwell is leaving Granite Broadcasting, about two years after the TV group emerged from Chapter 11 with Silver Point Capital as its new owner. Also exiting is COO John Deushane. Silver Point’s Peter Markham is the new Chairman and former Nexstar exec Duane Lammers is COO.
Granite was the first of what has become a parade of broadcasters going into Chapter 11 reorganization due to over-leverage. Having struck a pre-packaged restructuring agreement with its creditors, Granite went into bankruptcy court in December 2006 and emerged six months later. The company continues to own or operate 14 TV stations, ranging from large markets, San Francisco and Detroit, to small, Duluth, MN and Binghamton, NY.
“Since Stuart Beck and I founded the company in 1988 with the purchase of stations in Duluth and Peoria, Granite has developed from an entrepreneurial idea into a diverse station group which operates and provides services to 23 channels in 11 markets, reaching more than six percent of U.S. television households. I am proud of all that we have accomplished during a period that witnessed its share of opportunities and challenges. The hallmark of our company, stations and employees is our dedication and service to our local communities. I am extremely proud of the people at Granite and the numerous relationships I have developed over these many years, and I will always treasure them and our work together. Our stations are well positioned to continue serving viewers and advertisers. I believe the future is bright for Granite,” said Cornwell in a statement.
Deushane joined Granite 20 years ago when the company acquired WEEK-TV Peoria, IL, where he’d already been working for 12 years.