Meet The Men Behind The Ion Spin Buyer


Who are the individuals and/or groups behind INYO Broadcast Holdings, which is grabbing 26 ION Media stations in order for that company’s merger with The E.W. Scripps Co. to gain federal regulatory approval?

INYO is a new company, however its personnel include individuals “with decades of experience in the media sector.”

According to a filing with the FCC, INYO is formed by Methuselah Advisors, an investment firm with over 30 years of experience in broadcast and other media interests.

And, among INYO’s leaders are two Methuselah managing partners.

Profile photo of John ChachasJohn Chachas will serve as President and interim CEO of INYO.

He’s the executive chairman of Gump’s, a San Francisco-based luxury jeweler. And, he spent the entire decade of the 1990s as a Managing Director of Media and Telecommunications at First Boston.

Taking the role of INYO COO is Louis Zachary.

He worked with Chachas at First Boston, and spent 19 years through December 2000 there as Managing Director and global co-head of the TMT Group.

“The board of INYO will bring a wealth of experience to the new station group as well,” the 78-page original asset purchase agreement states.

Among those taking INYO board seats is veteran Hispanic media executive María Eugenia Ferré Rangel, a past president of Puerto Rico’s dominant newspaper, El Nuevo Día.

A more familiar individual to U.S. broadcast media C-Suiters is also on the INYO board: former Journal Communications Chairman/CEO Steven F. Smith.

“INYO is invested in the long-term success of the divestiture stations,” it notes.

At closing, as previously disclosed, INYO will enter into “an arm’s length” long-term affiliation agreement with Scripps, as the new parent company of ION, in order to continue to operate the divestiture stations as ION affiliates.

The term of the agreement runs for seven years, and is renewable for two three-year extension periods in INYO’s sole discretion.

Under the terms of that agreement, INYO will have the right to provide on each of the primary channel and each digital multicast channel two hours of local programming per weekday and four hours of local programming on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, INYO will have right to sell exactly 672 minutes of commercial advertising per week in network programming on each of the stations.

INYO will also have standard affiliate rights, such as the right to reject network programming.

“INYO looks forward to serving the stations’ communities and helping to strengthen the ION Network,” it says.

The merger and divestitures will transpire simultaneously.