Bidders bypass stations during bankruptcy auction
There were apparently no takers for a dozen Vermont radio stations that were part of a package of stations put up for sale at a bankruptcy auction last week.
Nassau Broadcasting Partners put its 49 stations up for sale to satisfy creditors as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.
Goldman Sachs, a major creditor, made a successful $38.7 million credit bid on 11 stations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Four other parties made successful bids for eight other stations in Maine, Massachusetts and Maryland, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
That left 30 stations in several states, including a dozen stations in Vermont, that were not sold at auction.
John Gales, general manager of WEXP-FM, “The Fox,” in Rutland, said Tuesday it’s business as usual for the Vermont stations.
“As far as Vermont goes and the stations in Vermont, there is no disruption of any services,” said Gales, who also manages WSNO-AM, WORK-FM and WWFY-FM in Barre. “We’re continuing to move on and if we have a new owner we’ll operate under that ownership and if we don’t, we’ll continue to operate under the present ownership.”
Nassau has asked Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross to extend the deadline until Aug. 7 to file a Chapter 11 reorganization plan. The deadline for filing the plan is set to expire Wednesday.
In addition to Goldman Sachs, the other successful bidders were:
Manning Broadcasting Inc., $6.4 million, for three Maryland stations, WAFY-FM, WARK-AM, WWEG-FM; John H. Garabedian, $2.7 million, for three Cape Cod stations, WFQR-FM, WFRQ-FM, WPXC-FM; The Presence Radio Network, $250,000 for WXTP-FM, Maine; and Mainstream Media, $150,000 for WBQW-FM, Maine.
Based in Princeton, N.J., Nassau Broadcasting Partners was forced into an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September by its major creditors. Goldman Sachs, Fortress Credit Opportunities and P.E. Capital LLC were owed a combined $83.8 million.
In October, the court agreed to convert the bankruptcy to a Chapter 11 case.
As of February, Nassau owed $283.7 million, including unpaid and deferred interest, according to court documents.
Nassau’s website lists the following Vermont stations with city of license:
WORK-FM, Barre; WWFY-FM, Berlin; WWOD-FM, Hartford; WFYX-FM, Walpole (N.H); WZLF-FM, White River Junction; WXLF-FM, Bellows Falls; WEXP-FM, Brandon/Jamaica; WTHK-FM, Wilmington; WMOO-FM, Derby Center; WSNO-AM, Barre; WNHV-AM, White River Junction; WIKE-AM, Newport.
A phone message for the attorney representing Nassau Broadcasting Partners was not returned.
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