Young Broadcasting

Young Broadcasting, LLC was an American media company that owned 12 television stations in 10 markets with a total U.S. television household coverage of 5.9%. 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 public company, Young Broadcasting voluntarily declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 13, 2009, to restructure its debts.

The company emerged from bankruptcy as New Young Broadcasting Holding Co, Inc. on June 24, 2010, shedding $800 million in debt and becoming one of the most financially secure broadcasting companies in the country. Deborah A. McDermott was named president and CEO of the new company, in which Standard General L.P., an American hedge fund, maintained a controlling interest. McDermott later became the CEO of Standard Media in 2018.

Privately held Young Broadcasting acquired a controlling interest in Media General through a reverse merger on Nov 12, 2013, . Following the merger, the new company was owned 67.5 percent by Young shareholders and 32.5 percent by Media General shareholders. The newly merged company would continue to operate as Media General with headquarters in Richmond, Virginia and trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Young Broadcasting entered station ownership in 1986, when it bought 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.

It 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.

Young Broadcasting purchased NBC affiliate KRON-TV/San Francisco in 2000, California from Chronicle Publishing Company 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, after an attempt by the network to impose O&O-esque operational requirements and control of the station’s schedule upon Young to retain the affiliation, which Young refused. KRON became an independent station in 2002 and eventually took affiliation with MyNetworkTV in 2006.

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