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Granite Unwinds Detroit/SF Station Deal

Granite Broadcasting has put the kibosh on a deal to sell stations in Detroit and San Francisco.

The company said Tuesday it would keep WMYD (formerly WDWB) Detroit, but will continue to shop KBWB San Francisco.

As the call-letter change suggests, the Detroit station is a WB affiliate changing to My Network TV when the net launches and WB folds in September.

Granite had been trying to sell the two stations to pay off debt, but reached an agreement at the beginning of this month on a new senior credit facility that would pay off the interest payment that was due June 1. The company was granted a grace period to, June 30.

Once the stations had not closed by then, Granite had the option of backing out. Once it had the money in hand to meat the debt payment, it made less since to sell the Detroit station, which has the MyNetworkTV affiliation and is seen as an asset. KBWB is losing its WB affiliation in the fall and is in a tougher situation.
Four private-equity firms, led by former Cox and Meredith executive Kevin O’Brien, were trying to buy the stations. The FCC had approved the sale last week. O'Brien's DS Audible LLC could still make a bid on the SF station. O'Brien is a veteran of the market 

Granite says it still plans to close on its purchase of WBNG Binghamton/Elmira, N.Y.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.