Granite Broadcasting, owner of San Francisco’s KBWB “TV20” and 22 other stations nationwide, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to allow it to reorganize its $275 million in corporate debt and take the company private. The company’s stations plan to stay on the air during the reorganization, which is expected to last until mid-2007. A big part of Granite’s problems can be traced to the demise of the WB network, which reduced the value of TV20, now a network-less independent. Granite planned to bail itself out by selling TV20 and a Detroit station to an investor group headed by former KTVU executive Kevin O’Brien. But after WB announced it was shutting down, the stations’ value dropped and the deal was called off. In September, it was sued by syndicators of programs such as “The Drew Carey Show” and “Friends” for nonpayment. Here’s Granite’s statement about the bankruptcy filing.

SF Press Club News

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