Young Broadcasting, LLC was an American telecommunications company that owned or operated 12 television stations in 10 markets with a total U.S. television household coverage of 5.9%; the company was a subsidiary of New Young Broadcasting Holding Co, Inc. The company was formerly known as Young Broadcasting Inc. and was the outgrowth of the ad representation firm Adam Young Inc., which was founded in 1944 by Adam Young. Previously a publicly traded company, Young Broadcasting voluntarily declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on February 13, 2009 to restructure its debts. The company emerged from bankruptcy on June 24, 2010 shedding $800 million in debt and becoming one of the most financially secure broadcasting companies in the country. Young merged with Media General on November 12, 2013.
Young invested $25 million in its stations, which led to a major overhaul of news production in 2011, allowing most of the stations to convert their news programming to full high definition (except for KRON-TV, whose newscasts continue to be produced in widescreen standard definition). In 2013 Young introduced an editorial philosophy dubbed "One Newsroom", which uses multi-platform publishing systems to quickly distribute content across their broadcast, web, mobile, and social media assets. Master control automation for its stations and asset management operations were upgraded in 2012.
In January 2012, Young signed an affiliation agreement with The Walt Disney Company's Live Well Network for eight of its stations to carry the digital multicast channel (WKRN-TV, WRIC-TV, WTEN, WATE-TV, WBAY-TV, WLNS-TV and KLFY).
In 2011, Young hired Cox Reps to represent it for national sales and will establish a dedicated Young Broadcasting sales team based in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Adam Young Inc., Young's previous rep firm, ceased operations in February 2011 after Cox was brought on board.
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Young Broadcasting entered station ownership in 1986, when it purchased stations in Lansing, Michigan and La Crosse, Wisconsin (a separate deal in 1988 would see Young acquire a station in Rockford, Illinois); Young purchased KLFY-TV in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1988 from Texoma Broadcasters, Inc., and subsequently WKRN-TV/Nashville and WTEN/Albany, New York in 1989 from Knight Ridder.
Young would expand its station roster with the 1994 purchase of three stations - WATE-TV/Knoxville, Tennessee; WRIC-TV/Richmond, Virginia and WBAY-TV/Green Bay, Wisconsin, from Nationwide Communications. Los Angeles independent KCAL-TV was purchased from the Walt Disney Company in 1996 and later sold to Viacom in 2002. Also in 1996, Young purchased KWQC-TV/Davenport, Iowa from Broad Street Television, L.P., and KELO-TV/Sioux Falls, South Dakota from Midcontinent Media, Inc.
In 2000, Young Broadcasting purchased NBC affiliate KRON-TV/San Francisco, California from Chronicle Publishing Company (the purchase also included a 51% stake in the station's local cable news channel BayTV, which would be shut down in 2001). Fortunes for KRON and its new owners would soon take a sharp decline when NBC chose to affiliate with (and eventually purchase) San Jose-based KNTV. KRON became an independent station in 2002 and eventually took affiliation with MyNetworkTV in 2006.
The company voluntarily declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 13, 2009 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The massive debt load Young incurred from its purchase and ownership of KRON was widely believed to have been a contributing factor to the company's 2009 bankruptcy declaration. Young's secured lenders (among them Wachovia and Credit Suisse) would take control of the company for $220 million.
On June 24, 2010, emerging from bankruptcy, Young released a statement indicating that the company had transferred from publicly traded status to private ownership by its former senior lenders, shedding "nearly $800 million in debt and millions of dollars of burdensome contracts" during its bankruptcy.
On August 20, 2012, Standard General filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to receive approval to increase the New York City-based hedge fund's ownership stake in Young Broadcasting from 36.34% to a controlling stake of 50.03%.
On June 6, 2013, it was announced that New Young would merge with Media General will merge. The enlarged Media General would own 30 stations, reaching 14% of the United States. On November 8, the FCC approved the merger. The merger closed on November 12. Young still exists as a holding company within the Media General structure; it is still listed on the licenses of most of its former stations.
Former Young-owned Stations
- 1 These stations were never owned by Young; it was operated via JSAs.
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