Another big broadcaster may be on the verge of bankruptcy.
JoblogoBaltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., which is controlled by David Smith and his family and operates 58 television stations, said if it can't restructure its heavy debt load it will have to file for bankruptcy. The company, which has about $1.3 billion in debt, is trying to negotiate terms on notes of $500 million that are coming due in the next 18 months.
If Sinclair files for bankruptcy it will be bad news for Hollywood, which counts on the broadcaster to spend heavily on programming for its stations. With 58 stations to program, Sinclair is one of the biggest buyers of reruns, movies, talk shows and game shows.
Sinclair is the latest broadcaster to be feeling the pinch of a poor economy and a changing media landscape. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said auto advertising used to represent 25% of its ad revenue and now accounts for only about half that.
I have a talk show Sinclair could buy, and it's probably less expensive than the others!