New York-based Standard General has asked the FCC to approve its acqusition of a majority stake in the station group, which emerged from Chapter 11 in 2010. It operates 11 stations, including KRON San Francisco.
A hedge fund that has been buying up stakes of post-Chapter 11 Young Broadcasting and its 11 TV stations in 11 markets has filed with the FCC to become the majority owner.
Standard General is a New York-based hedge fund managed by Soohyung Kim and Nicholas Singer. According to a 2011 article in the online Hedge Fund Alert trade publication, the two are money management veterans who founded Standard General in 2007 with $100 million in invested funds and were growing that last year to $1 billion.
It was also last year that Standard General acquired a significant stake in Young and filed its first ownership report with the FCC. In that filing on Dec. 9, 2011, Standard General said it held 26% voting interest. It has been increasing that stake since then.
In its latest filing earlier this month, Standard General is asking for FCC approval to convert some warrants that it already owns to common stock.
That will increase its ownership stake from 36.34% to 50.03%, making Standard General the majority owner of the Young stations, which includes KRON, the news-laden MNT affiliate in San Francisco.
There’s no indication how much Standard General has paid for its Young stake or who the sellers were.
The reorganization plan which allowed Young to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2010 distributed shares and warrants to a large group of former creditors.
Only Highland Capital Management (28.16%) and Cerberus Capital (21.35%) had voting stakes large enough to be attributable under FCC rules.
A spokesperson for Young referred questions about the new owner to Standard General. Neither Kim, Singer nor anyone else at Standard General returned phone calls from TVNewsCheck.
In addition to KRON, Young owns ABC, CBS or NBC affiliates in 10 markets ranging in size from Nashville, Tenn., (DMA 29) to Rapid City, S.D. (DMA173)
Standard General has also asked the FCC to continue Young’s waivers to operate three full-power stations in two markets as satellites.