TV group owner Roberts Broadcasting is the latest broadcaster to head into bankruptcy court. The St. Louis-based company filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions with the US Bankruptcy Court there.
Roberts filed separate Chapter 11 petitions Friday (10/7) for each of its four stations: WRBU-TV (MyNet) St. Louis, MO; WZRB-TV (CW) Columbia, SC; WRBJ-TV (CW) Jackson, MS; and WAZE-TV (CW) Evansville, IN. Each petition lists estimated assets of $0-50K and liabilities of $100-500K. The bare-bones filings immediately drew court notices to submit missing documents, including the list of major creditors for each entity.
President Steven Roberts issued a statement that it was difficult to make the decision to file the bankruptcy petitions, but Chapter 11 will allow the company to deal with old debts and preserve the jobs of its employees. Roberts blamed the demise of the UPN Network, of which all four had been affiliates, for throwing off the company’s business plans.
The bankruptcy filings follow litigation with program suppliers. Back in March two CBS Corp. subsidiaries, CBS Studios and King World Productions, won a $1 million judgment in a California court against the Roberts stations. Just two weeks ago Warner Brothers Television won a $1.4 million judgment, also in a California court.