Creditor Takes Control Of WBEB

101.1 MoreFM More FM WBEB Philadelphia Jerry Lee BroadcastingZell Credit Opportunities Fund is taking over controlling interest in Jerry Lee Broadcasting.

Jerry Lee Broadcasting is the owner of AC “101.1 More-FM” WBEB Philadelphia. The transaction filed with the FCC is setup to give the creditor control of the company’s Board of Managers by increasing its membership from three to five people due to default on a due loan and giving it managing control of the station.

The credit agreement included in the FCC filing indicates that the filing is the first step towards an eventual sale of the station. The new Manager is authorized by the contract to “retain an investment banker, open a data room and to populate it with all customary due diligence materials and open such data room up to potential bidders, and to take other preliminary steps in preparation of a sale of the business.”

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  1. Mark W. says

    What a shame. Jerry Lee always seemed to be viewing very favorably by his industry peers. One of the last true independently owned commercial FM properties in a Top 10 market is now likely to be gobbled up by the big corporate radio goons.

    Makes one wonder why he couldn’t service the debt on his partner buyout loan.

  2. Autodyne says

    Jerry’s a great programmer but apparently a lousy businessman. He bought out his partner’s share of the station at the height of station values back in 2005. The station’s now probably worth less than the loan amount. The only way out of that deal is bankruptcy or the surrender of the asset. Sad but inevitable.

  3. Steve Varholy says

    I don’t think it is accurate to say that he “couldn’t service his debt.” It was my understanding that his former partner’s estate no longer wanted to wait on a stream of payments and wanted to be cashed out then and there and sold the note and the new noteholder insisted on payment in full.

    At least that is my recollection.

  4. Steve Varholy says

    Tom Taylor describes the transaction as Jerry Lee buying out his partner’s estate by the way of two notes. The primary note was some $65 million with Zell being the noteholder.

    The buyout was at the height of station values and is not supported by 2015’s values or revenues. For whatever reason, whether it was a default by missed payment or a technical (reason other than non-payment) default, Zell exercised his rights to take control.

  5. K.M. Richards says

    All this jumping to conclusions without even doing Google searches to see what facts are in evidence.

    No wonder there are so many arguments and put-downs on message boards … it becomes very easy to believe they are populated by people who know less than nothing.

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