Goodbye, Bankruptcy? This AM/FM Owner Seeks Reboot Nod


On Tuesday (5/1) Cumulus Media got the news it was hoping for from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman. The court confirmed the company’s Plan of Reorganization, setting the stage for an emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that will occur no later than the end of June.

In Wisconsin, the owner of four FMs and an AM talk radio station believes it is very close to ending its own bankruptcy proceedings.

Mississippi Valley Broadcasters owns and operates WLFN-AM 1490, Classic Rock WKBH-FM 100.1, Country WQCC-FM 106.3, AC WXLR-FM “Magic 105,” and Classic Hits KQEG-FM 102.7 in La Crosse, Wisc., using the localized cluster brand “La Crosse Media Group.”

According to the La Crosse Tribune, Mississippi Valley Broadcasters filed a motion Wednesday asking a federal judge to dismiss bankruptcy cases for the company and its La Crosse stations.

MVB is a partnership between Tcom Inc. and Wisconsin resident Patrick H. Smith. The company became a debtor-in-possession on Aug. 15, 2017, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late July.

The action came after MVB was unable to maintain minimum deposits required under a loan agreement with Coulee Bank that the La Crosse Tribune says also precluded payments on a 2007 loan from the estate of former co-owner Howard Bill.

A La Crosse County judge in 2017 awarded the estate of Howard Bill a $1.1 million settlement for the unpaid debt.

According to La Crosse Media Group Managing Partner Pat Smith, the five stations are profitable. As of April 2018, MVP valued its assets at $3.3 million and its debt at $3 million.

An undisclosed media broker was retained by Mississippi Valley Broadcasters in November 2017 to shop around the five stations. According to a court filing made Wednesday (5/2), none of the bids were sufficient enough for MVB to pay off its debts.

Creditors and other interested parties have 21 days to file a written objection with the bankruptcy court in Eau Claire, Wisc., the La Crosse Journal notes.