Sinclair partner gets reprieve


Cunningham Broadcasting, which owns six stations LMA’d by Sinclair Broadcast Group, has gotten an extension on its senior loan, which had been due on Friday (7/31). That, in turn, gives Sinclair some breathing room.

As previously reported, Cunningham was facing a potential Chapter 11 filing if it could not extend or replace its senior loan facility. And Sinclair had warned that if Cunningham ended up in bankruptcy court, that could trigger a filing by Sinclair as well. Cunningham’s stations are all in markets where Sinclair itself could not legally own a second station. All of the voting rights at privately owned Cunningham are held by Carolyn Smith, the mother of Sinclair CEO David Smith.

Sinclair announced Friday that it had been notified by Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation that Cunningham’s lenders under its $33.5 million term loan facility had provided an extension to October 30, 2009. The extension requires that Cunningham make $200,000 principal payments on its term loans as of the first business day of each of August, September and October, with the balance due and payable on October 30, 2009. “During this time, the lenders and Cunningham will work towards a resolution on how to satisfy the debt maturity,” Friday’s statement said.