The spectrum speculator outbid two others for the bankrupt New York independent station last November, but the auction was contested, delaying the filing of the FCC sale application. NRJ has purchased three other underperforming stations in recent months with an eye on the FCC's spectrum auction.
NRJ Asks FCC To OK $22.8M Buy Of WSAH
Having won the auction for the bankrupt WSAH New York (Bridgeport, Conn.) last November, spectrum speculator NRJ TV has asked the FCC to approve its acquisition of the independent station.
NRJ TV’s winning bid was $22.8 million.
NRJ TV and the debtor-in-possession asked the FCC to expedite its sale application, noting that the station is losing $50,000 per month and financing obtained to keep the station afloat “is rapidly depleting.”
The two parties noted that the filing of the application was delayed because the auction result was contested by Arthur Liu, the owner who lost control of the station in the bankruptcy. Liu was one of two losing bidders. The bankruptcy judge rejected Liu’s complaint at the end of December.
As Multicultural Television Broadcasting, Liu bought WSAH and four other stations from E.W. Scripps in 2006 for $170 million, but soon defaulted on his loans. The stations were placed in trust to be sold. After four were sold, the trustee filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware and arranged for the auction of WSAH.
NRJ TV has been buying underperforming stations, hoping to sell them to broadband carriers through the FCC’s proposed incentive auction and turn a profit.
NRJ TV is owned equally by Ted Bartley, Titan Broadcast Management (Bert Ellis, principal) and station broker Larry Patrick.
Last September, NRJ purchased WTVE Philadelphia from Richard French for $30.4 million. Earlier, it purchased two other Multicultural stations — KCNS San Francisco and WMFP Boston — after they had been placed in trust. NRJ paid $20 million for the pair — $15 million for KCNS and $5 million for WMFP.