Vince Young Exits Young Broadcasting

Vince Young has stepped down from his role as non-executive chairman of Young Broadcasting. His departure from the company that bears his family name was, in part, the result of his alignment with the group that unsuccessfully sought to have its bankruptcy reorganization plan imposed.

Vincent Young resigned last week from the board of Young Broadcasting where he was serving as non-executive chairman, according to Tony Cassara, also a board member.

Soo Kim of hedge fund Standard General, which owns roughly 25% of the company post-bankrupcy, replaced Young.

Tom Sullivan, who was already on the board of Young post-bankruptcy, was named chairman, Cassara said.

The five-member board now comprises Sullivan, chairman; Kim; Cassara; Kevin Shea of Loughlin Meghji, the chief restructuring officer during Young’s bankruptcy, and Sheldon Galloway.

The company’s four largest shareholders are Standard General, Oppenheimer Funds with roughly 20%, Credit Suisse with roughly 15% and Highland Capital with roughly 12-percent.

The board changes, which were not publicly announced, occurred last week, Cassara said.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Vincent Young’s departure from the company that bears his family name was, in part, the result of his alignment with the group that unsuccessfully sought to have its bankruptcy reorganization plan imposed.

During Young’s bankruptcy, two competing groups – the secured lenders and the unsecured lenders – submitted restructuring plans but the presiding judge ultimately chose the secured lenders’ plan.

“It ended up that Vince and (former vice president) Jim Morgan had sided with the group that lost, the unsecured lenders,” Cassara said. “It’s fair to say there were bad feelings all around.”

A lawsuit Vincent Young had filed for compensation of at least $2 million during the company’s bankruptcy has been settled, Cassara said. He declined to disclose terms of the settlement.

Cassara noted that the station group had a “great 2010 and is doing extremely well in 2011.”

While Young’s owners remain interested in monetizing their investment through a sale of the station group, there’s no consensus on when that should happen, Cassara said.

“Generally the opinion is this isn’t a great time to be doing that,” he said. “The shareholders are realistic and patient, but they don’t want to own the company for 10 years.”

Those owners are willing to wait for an exit when financing conditions and the broadcast climate improve further, Cassara said, noting that “2012 is going to be a phenomenal year for broadcasters because of political advertising.”

Deborah McDermott remains in the role of president, primarily in charge of operations at three Young stations: KRON in San Francisco (DMA 6), WATE in Knoxville, Tenn. (DMA 59) and WLNS in Lansing, Mich. (DMA 115).

Gray Television is the management consultant for the remaining seven stations in Young’s 10-station group: WKRN Nashville, TN (DMA 29); WTEN Albany, NY (DMA 58); WRIC Richmond, VA (DMA 57); WBAY Green Bay, WI (DMA 71); KWQC Davenport, IA (DMA 00); KELO Sioux Falls, SD (DMA 112); and KLFY Lafayette, LA (DMA 123).


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