New reports suggest that a total of 30 television stations will go on the block. According to Dow Jones, the company has $536 million in debt against assets of $460 million.
Getting a share of the blame were the generally woeful economic conditions tied to the housing downturn, the weak performance of the CW Network, which has affected a number of Pappas stations, the drain on capex cash necessitated by the DTV conversion and tightening of credit.
All of these factors have made it difficult to find buyers on the open market, so the company is hoping to have more luck selling off properties under the blanker of Chapter 11 protection.
RBR/TVBR observation: Last December Pappas announced that it had hired Moelis & Company to consult on a strategic review of all its properties. At the time, Chairman/CEO Harry Pappas said "After more than 40 years in the broadcast industry, the time has come to simplify my life and spend more time with my family.”
It is proving to be an extremely tough time in which to simplify things. We wish Pappas success in this endeavor, and we especially hope that this doesn’t become a rerun of the early nineties, when it seemed half our stories were about chapter this and that.