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KRON owner sheds $800 million in debt

Young Broadcasting, which paid a record $823 million for KRON only to see the station’s value drop like a rock after it lost its NBC affiliation, announced Friday that it has wiped $800 million in debt off its books in bankruptcy proceedings.

“Having shed nearly $800 million in debt and millions of dollars of burdensome contracts through the bankruptcy process, New Young Broadcasting is emerging from bankruptcy as the most financially sound company in television broadcasting,” Young said in a statement.

The company’s Chapter 11 reorganization had been stalled in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for more than a year because of squabbling between secured creditors and unsecured creditors. An auction last summer was cancelled when it became obvious that nobody was going to bid more than the $220 million creditors had been seeking.

Young Broadcasting owns KRON and nine stations in the Midwest. Young previously announced that seven of the Midwest stations will be operated by Grey Television for a fee of $2.2 million annually. KRON and two other stations will be run by a new company with a board of directors that includes Vince Young but also more representatives of the creditors.

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