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Roberts Broadcasting to Sell Stations as Part of Bankruptcy Settlement

roberts broadcastingThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports three TV stations owned by Roberts Broadcasting are being sold as part of the station group’s bankruptcy settlement.

WRBU in St. Louis, WZRB in Columbia, SC, and WAZE in Evansville, IN, will be purchased by ION Media Networks for $7.75 million. WRBJ in Jackson, MS, has already been sold for 1.5 million.

Roberts Broadcasting, led by brothers Michael and Steve Roberts, filed for bankruptcy in St. Louis in October 2011 after racking up millions of dollars in judgments for failure to pay licensing fees. When it filed for bankruptcy, the TV operator listed debts exceeding $3 million and assets of more than $800,000.

The proceeds from the sale of the four stations will pay creditors.

“All the creditors are getting paid in full,” said Tom DeWoskin, Roberts Broadcasting’s attorney.

The bankruptcy case remains pending in St. Louis. DeWoskin said he expected a confirmation order for the sale of the stations, which will allow Roberts Broadcasting to emerge from bankruptcy, to be signed by Judge Barry Schermer next week. Additionally, the transfers of the TV licenses must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission, which could take several weeks.

The Evansville TV station has temporarily ceased operating, but the new owner plans to resume operations at the station, DeWoskin said.

ION Media Networks did not immediately respond to a request for comment about their plans for the stations.

Roberts’ four stations, WRBU, WZRB, WAZE and WRBJ, filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

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