Grave Money Trouble for Retro Television Network Parent

Retro Television Network parent Equity Media Holdings has hit money troubles, according to an “amended annual report” it issued earlier this week.

The Little Rock, Ark.-based broadcaster owns 23 full-power stations and a total of 121 “stations, licenses and permits,” according to its Web site, including substantial Spanish-language holdings. Equity also owns RTN, which offers vintage programming like Get Smart and Mission: Impossible on station partners’ digital channels.

RTN has been signing up affiliates at a rapid clip, inking a deal with a trio of Citadel Communications stations in the Midwest this week. But according to the report, Equity is bleeding money, and it may continue to do so for some time.

“The company has a history of losses,” the report read. “The company had a loss from operations of $33.4 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, as compared with a net loss of $14.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006. There can be no assurance that the company will become or remain profitable or that losses will not continue to occur.”

The report also said Equity must find new funding, and fast, to stay afloat.

“The company’s existing capital resources are not sufficient to fund operations,” it read. “If the company is unable to obtain adequate additional sources of capital in the near term, it will need to cease all or a portion of its operations, seek protection under U.S. bankruptcy laws and regulations, engage in a restructuring or undertake a combination of these and other actions.”

Equity’s troubles were first reported in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.