×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Paxson sells Shreveport station

Debt weighing on company as net struggles

The Paxson Communications garage sale continued apace yesterday, as the cash-strapped and debt-encumbered TV station owner and programmer announced plans to sell its Shreveport, La., station KPXJ-TV for $10 million in cash to KTBS, its joint sales agreement partner in the nation’s 81st largest market.

This is the second such disposal for the West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company. Earlier this month, Paxson sold its Albuquerque, N.M. station to Univision-owned Spanish-lingo net TeleFutura for $20 million.

Paxson operates the largest broadcast station portfolio in the U.S., with O&O stations reaching 64% of the U.S., including stations in all of the top 20 markets. But despite the considerable asset value of its stations, the company is weighed down by debt service obligations that may exceed its cash-generating abilities. Much of the problem stems from its struggling program network.

Ratings agency Moody’s last week was evidently unmoved by the pace of asset disposals and lowered its credit rating on several classes of debt, citing weak operating performance and revenue growth and continued program investment plans.

“Paxson has been challenged to improve ratings and grow revenues at a level that would be sufficient to support the company’s existing debt burden.” Moody’s concluded. And while it notes that the company will boost cash from operations this year, thanks to staff cuts and syndication sales, its continued investment in original programming will offset any potential gains.

Presiding over deregulation-inspired TV station sales is probably the only strategic option for chairman-CEO Lowell “Bud” Paxson. Paxson last month said he was awaiting word from 32% shareholder NBC as to whether the Peacock intends to tender for the balance of the company and its prized 63 full-power TV stations. If NBC declines, Paxson said he would look to unravel the partnership with NBC and entertain other offers.

For its part, NBC said it would not be pressured by Paxson’s overtures.

Speaking on his most recent deal, Bud Paxson said the transaction “demonstrates the keen interest in our broadcast stations heightened by the FCC’s new rules.”

Subject to FCC approval, the sale is expected to close by early fall.

Separately, Paxson announced that it has promoted Cheryl Scully to vice president and treasurer, responsible for all treasury operations and investor relations.

More Biz

  • Tokyo Film Festival and Market Choose

    Tokyo Film Festival and Market Set Separate Dates in 2019

    The Tokyo International Film Festival and its accompanying rights market, TIFFCOM, will be held on separate dates this year. Some film executives may have to choose to attend one or the other. The film festival Wednesday announced that it will be held from Monday, Oct 28 to Tues, Nov. 5. Previously, the TIFFCOM market said [...]

  • Jeremy Vuernick

    Capitol Music Group Promotes Jeremy Vuernick to Executive VP of A&R

    Jeremy Vuernick has been promoted to Executive Vice President of A&R for Capitol Music Group, it was announced today by CMG COO Michelle Jubelirer and president Ashley Newton. In his elevated position, Vuernick will draw upon his broad experience as an A&R executive to sign and develop artists for the company, as well as oversee recording projects for new and [...]

  • Darnell Strom

    Darnell Strom to Lead UTA's Newly Created Culture and Leadership Division

    Darnell Strom has joined UTA and is set to lead its newly created Culture and Leadership division. Strom will represent and work with existing and new UTA clients who want to expand their diverse businesses and cultural influence at the intersection of entertainment, media, entrepreneurship, politics, the arts, and thought leadership. Strom brings years of [...]

  • Editorial use only. MANDATORY CREDIT: PARLIAMENTARY

    British Lawmakers Reject Prime Minister's Brexit Plan, Heightening Uncertainty

    British lawmakers have resoundingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s terms for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union, heightening the country’s sense of uncertainty and paralysis less than two months before the exit is supposed to take effect. Parliament rejected May’s Brexit plan by a 432-202-vote Tuesday evening, one of the biggest parliamentary defeats in [...]

  • Dan Cohen nonesuch records

    Nonesuch Promotes Dan Cohen to Senior VP of Marketing

    Dan Cohen has been named Nonesuch Records’ senior vice president of marketing, the company announced today. In his new role, Cohen oversees marketing, sales, publicity, new media, and content creation for the long-running Warner Music Group label. Cohen reports to Nonesuch President David Bither and is based at the label’s headquarters in New York. Cohen [...]

  • hollywood debt

    Can Hollywood's Biggest Media Companies Avoid Getting Crushed by Debt?

    Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman-CEO, summoned all of his folksy Oklahoma earnestness as he made an enthusiastic pitch to Wall Street analysts about the telephone company’s bold efforts to transform itself into a multimedia powerhouse. It was late November, less than six months after AT&T had wrapped up its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. But [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content