Young KRON kite: SF TV up for sale


KRON-TV (Ch. 4, MyNetworkTV) in San Francisco is on the block. Young Broadcasting Inc. has hired Moelis & Company to shop its largest station. YBI would like to come to an agreement by the end of the current quarter.
"When we purchased KRON-TV in 2000 we believed we had acquired a jewel and we still feel that is the case today. KRON-TV is one of the most valuable television stations in the country," stated Vincent Young, Chairman of Young Broadcasting. "Our decision to sell is based on the high level of interest in the property that we have received. It is purely a strategic economic decision, allowing us to benefit from the proceeds of the sale to further our future corporate initiatives."

Young paid a record-shattering 822.585 million in cash and stock for KRON, with 650 million of that in cash, when it bought the station from Chronicle Publishing. It had been bidding against NBC, which had hoped to make its long-time affiliate an O&O. After it was outbid, NBC bought KNTV-TV from Granite and left KRON without a network until the launch of MyNetworkTV. Wall Street has battered Young’s stock price and analysts have been urging Vincent Young in quarterly conference calls to sell the station and improve the company’s balance sheet. Young had said for some time that the idea was under consideration – and now the time to sell has come.

If the liquidation of KRON is successful, YBI will still be left with a significant television portfolio, including ABC affiliates WKRN-TV Nashville TN, WTEN-TV Albany, NY, WRIC-TV Richmond VA, WATE-TV Knoxville TN and WATE-TV Green Bay WI; CBS affiliates WLNS-TV Lansing MI, KLFY-TV Lafayette LA and KELO-TV Sioux Falls SD; and NBC affiliate KWQC-TV Davenport IA.