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Judge Approves Sale Of Pappas Stations

Pappas Telecasting, one of the nation's largest TV station owners, says a bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of "essentially all" its stations to New World TV Group.

"Essentially all" because its Reno TV station was sold last fall to Entrevision for $4 million and Pappas retains a handful of TV stations and associated LPTVs.

But sold out of bankruptcy were eight stations, agreements to operate two stations not owned by Pappas, and 13 associated low-power stations.

The buyer is made up primarily of Pappas' creditors, who won the stations at auction with a $260 million bid.

The stations include CBS, Fox, CW, and MynetworkTV affiliates in markets including San Francisco, Houston, Sioux City, Omaha, El Paso and Yakima, Wash.

According to bankruptcy trustee Roger Williams, they have been able to find about $3 million in cost-saving via some layoffs, consolidating facilities and dropping some Hispanic programming bought individually and replacing it with TV Azteca affiliations in some markets. He says that helped both with saving programming costs and boosting revenue because the TV Azteca programming rated better than the shows it replaced.