Downfall Of A Black Syndication Kingpin

Driven into bankruptcy, The Heritage Networks struggles to regainits footing withoutex-CEO Frank Mercado-Valdes

It also announced that it could raise $10 million in financing from First Bank of Tennessee. THN stated that it needed to have at least $3.6 million in financing, and an additional $2.7 million to repay creditors, in order to exit bankruptcy.

“The new Heritage has emerged without the substantial albatross of that trade debt and can refocus its energy on its core business, which is advertising sales and distribution, with original productions being reduced substantially,” says Wiley, adding that the company emerged from bankruptcy on Jan. 3.

With the worst of THN’s problems possibly behind them, the former board chairman says Mercado-Valdes didn’t have bad intentions but made questionable business decisions: “He was operating like a loose cannon, really. I think the boy had good intentions,” Cottrell says. “I think he was way over his head and did not seek the proper legal advice.”

—Additional reporting by Derek T. Dingle and Alan Hughes

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