Young Broadcasting, LLC
Company typePrivate
IndustryBroadcast and Digital
FounderAdam Young
DefunctNovember 12, 2013 (2013-11-12)
FateMerged with Media General
Key people
  • Deborah A. McDermott
  • (president / CEO)
ServicesTelevision stations, Digital media, Mobile publishing

Young Broadcasting, LLC was an American media company that owned or operated 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.

On June 24, 2010, the company emerged from bankruptcy as New Young Broadcasting Holding Co, Inc., shedding $800 million in debt and becoming one of the most financially secure broadcasting companies in the country.[1] Deborah A. McDermott was named president and CEO of the new company,[2] in which Standard General L.P., an American hedge fund, maintained a controlling interest.

On November 12, 2013, privately held Young Broadcasting acquired a controlling interest in Media General through a reverse merger.[3] Following the merger, the new company was owned 67.5 percent by Young shareholders and 32.5 percent by Media General shareholders.[4] 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 purchased 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.

In May 1992, Young reached an agreement to purchase five television stations from Houston-based H&C Communications. The stations included KPRC-TV (H&C's flagship station) in Houston, KSAT-TV in San Antonio, WESH in Daytona Beach/Orlando, KVOA-TV in Tucson and KCCI-TV in Des Moines.[5] However, the sale of these stations was cancelled due to Young's failure to obtain financing.[6]

Young 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.

In 2000, Young Broadcasting purchased NBC affiliate KRON-TV/San Francisco, California from Chronicle Publishing Company (the purchase also included a 51% stake in the station's local cable news channel BayTV, which would be shut down in 2001). 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.

The company voluntarily declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 13, 2009, with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.[7][8] The massive debt load Young incurred from its purchase and ownership of KRON was widely believed to have been a contributing factor to the company's 2009 bankruptcy declaration.[9]

On July 22, 2009, a New York bankruptcy judge approved a plan transferring ownership of Young and its stations to the company's secured lenders (among them Wachovia and Credit Suisse) for $220 million. The plan included Gray Television coming in as an outside party and advise on operations of Young-owned stations in seven markets through December 31, 2012 (although Young still had the final word on the stations' operations, including programming and personnel). The agreement did not include Young's three other stations: KRON-TV/San Francisco, California, WATE-TV/Knoxville, Tennessee, and WLNS-TV/Lansing, Michigan, in which the latter two due to Gray already owning stations in those markets.[10][11][12] WBAY and KWQC would eventually be purchased by Gray in 2017 as part of spin-off requirements to close the Media General merger with Nexstar mentioned below.

On June 24, 2010, emerging from bankruptcy, Young released a statement indicating that the company had transferred from publicly traded status to private ownership by its former senior lenders, shedding "nearly $800 million in debt and millions of dollars of burdensome contracts" during its bankruptcy.[13][14]

Young invested $25 million in its stations, which led to a major overhaul of news production in 2011, allowing most of the stations to convert their news programming to full high definition (except for KRON-TV, whose newscasts continue to be produced in widescreen standard definition). In 2013 Young introduced an editorial philosophy dubbed "One Newsroom", which uses multi-platform publishing systems to quickly distribute content across their broadcast, web, mobile, and social media assets.[15] Master control automation for its stations and asset management operations were upgraded in 2012.[16]

In 2011, Young hired Cox Reps to represent it for national sales and will establish a dedicated Young Broadcasting sales team based in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Adam Young Inc., Young's previous rep firm, ceased operations in February 2011 after Cox was brought on board.[17]

In January 2012, Young signed an affiliation agreement with The Walt Disney Company's Live Well Network for eight of its stations to carry the digital multicast channel (WKRN-TV, WRIC-TV, WTEN, WATE-TV, WBAY-TV, WLNS-TV and KLFY).[18]

On August 20, 2012, Standard General filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to receive approval to increase the New York City-based hedge fund's ownership stake in Young Broadcasting from 36.34% to a controlling stake of 50.03%.[19]

On June 6, 2013, Young announced that it would sell itself to Media General, in a transaction described as a "reverse merger". The enlarged Media General would own 30 stations, reaching 14% of the United States.[20] On November 8, the FCC approved the merger.[21] The merger closed on November 12.[22] Media General would then be absorbed to Nexstar Media Group in 2017.[23] President and CEO Deborah A. McDermott would later become the CEO of Standard Media in 2018.[24]

Former stations

Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.

City of license / Market Station Channel Years owned Current status
Los Angeles, CA KCAL-TV 9 1996–2002 Independent owned by Paramount Global
San Francisco, CA KRON-TV 4 2000–2013 The CW O&O / MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Rockford, IL WTVO 17 1988–2004 ABC affiliate owned by Mission Broadcasting[a]
Davenport, IA KWQC-TV 6 1996–2013 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Lafayette, LA KLFY-TV 10 1988–2013 CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Lansing, MI WLNS-TV 6 1986–2013[b] CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
WLAJ 53 2013[c] ABC affiliate owned by Mission Broadcasting[a]
WHTV 18 [d] Defunct, license cancelled in 2017
Albany, NY WTEN 10 1989–2013[e] ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
WXXA-TV 23 2012–2013[c] Fox affiliate owned by Mission Broadcasting[a]
Adams, MA WCDC-TV[A] 19 1989–2013[e] Defunct, license cancelled in 2018
Sioux Falls, SD KELO-TV 11 1996–2013 CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Florence, SD KDLO-TV[B] 3 1996–2013 CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Reliance, SD KPLO-TV[B] 6 1996–2013 CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Rapid City, SD KCLO-TV[B] 15 1996–2013 CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Knoxville, TN WATE-TV 6 1994–2013[f] ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Nashville, TN WKRN-TV 2 1989–2013[e] ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Richmond, VA WRIC-TV 8 1994–2013[f] ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Green Bay, WI WBAY-TV 2 1994–2013[f] ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
La Crosse, WI WKBT-TV 8 1986–2000[b] CBS affiliate owned by Morgan Murphy Media
  1. ^ Satellite of WTEN.
  2. ^ a b c Satellite of KELO-TV.
  1. ^ a b c Operated through an SSA by Nexstar Media Group.
  2. ^ a b Acquired from Backe Communications.
  3. ^ a b Owned by Shield Media and operated by Young through an LMA.
  4. ^ Owned by Venture Technologies Group and operated by Young through a shared services agreement with WLNS.
  5. ^ a b c Acquired from Knight Ridder Broadcasting.
  6. ^ a b c Acquired from Nationwide Communications.


  1. ^ Malone, Michael (August 20, 2012). "Standard General Moves to Grab Majority Share of Young Broadcasting". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  2. ^ Staff (January 9, 2013). "Young President McDermott named CEO". TV NewsCheck. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  3. ^ "Overview of Media General, Inc., Prior to Reverse Merger with Young Broadcasting". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  4. ^ Ghosh, Sayantani (June 6, 2013). "Media General to merge with privately held New Young Broadcasting". Reuters. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  5. ^ "Hobby family sells most of media empire". UPI. May 20, 1992. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  6. ^ Burnett, Richard (February 19, 1993). "PULITZER PUBLISHING PLANS TO BUY WESH-CHANNEL 2". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  7. ^ [dead link]
  8. ^ "Young Files for Chapter 11", from, posted April 3, 2009
  9. ^ "Young Eyes Watershed Sale at Stations Auction", from Broadcasting & Cable, July 13, 2009
  10. ^ "Banks' Bid on Young Stations Clears Hurdle", from, July 22, 2009
  11. ^ Who's Really Running Young Broadcasting?" from, January 2, 2011
  12. ^ "Gray to manage most Young stations", from, July 22, 2009
  13. ^ "Young Broadcasting Erases $800 Million Debt in Completed Reorganization", from, June 25, 2010
  14. ^ "Young Broadcasting Inc. Announcement on Restructuring", as posted on June 24, 2010
  15. ^ Multiplatform Workflow Lets Young Get News Out Faster, TVNewsCheck, April 23, 2013.
  16. ^ Young: Out With Old, In With New—Gear, TVNewsCheck, January 26, 2012.
  17. ^ Cox To Rep Young's 10 Stations, TVNewsCheck, January 10, 2011.
  18. ^ Young Broadcasting Stations Look to Live Well, Broadcasting & Cable, January 24, 2012.
  19. ^ Hedge Fund Taking Control Of Young Bcstg., TVNewsCheck, August 20, 2012.
  20. ^ Lieberman, David (June 6, 2013). "Media General And Young Broadcasting Agree To Merge". Deadline. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  21. ^ "Media General Receives FCC Approval for Merger with Young Broadcasting; Plans to Close Transaction on Tuesday, November 12, 2013". Archived from the original on November 21, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  22. ^ "Media General, Young Now Officially One". TVNewsCheck. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  23. ^ "Nexstar Broadcasting Group Completes Acquisition of Media General Creating Nexstar Media Group, The Nation's Second Largest Television Broadcaster". Nexstar Media Group, Inc. January 17, 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  24. ^ Staff Writer. "Nashville company to acquire two TV stations". Nashville Post. Retrieved December 14, 2019.