Granite Broadcasting Goes Bankrupt

One of the largest black-owned media broadcasting companies in the country, Granite Broadcasting Corp. in New York (No. 29 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $137 million in sales), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company listed more than $640 million in outstanding debts.

Granite provides programming, sales, and other services to 23 channels in at least seven states and services about 6% of all U.S. television-viewing households. Between fiscal years 2003 and 2005, Granite reported net losses of more than $229 million.

“We have been candid about Granite’s need to reconstructure the balance sheet,” says Chairman and CEO W. Don Cornwell. “Our ability to sell stations formerly affiliated with the WB Network in San Francisco and Detroit was unsuccessful.” Cornwall contends that the demise of the WB and the fact that these sales did not come to fruition were key reasons Granite filed for bankruptcy.

In January, the company received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for a line of credit of up to $25 million in order to maintain its operations during the financial overhaul.