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Young Dangles KRON, Pushes Retrans

Speaking at the Bank of America Media Conference in New York Thursday afternoon, Young Broadcasting CEO Vincent Young reiterated his desire to sell KRON San Francisco as his deputy beat the drum for retransmission-consent payment.

Pressed about the Bay Area MyNetworkTV affiliate, Young said several would-be buyers have expressed interest, but FCC ownership hurdles stood in the way. “If the rules changed, it makes me believe there are folks who want to do [the sale],” he said. Expressing his urgency, he added, “I’d rather do something strategic with KRON before 5 p.m. today rather than tomorrow. We’d like to try to coach [a buyer] across the finish line.”

He also credited a sales campaign called Third Leg, which involves targeting small marketers that don’t typically advertise on television, with helping overall performance.

CFO Jim Morgan vowed to get paid by cable operators for retransmission consent. “It’s a great opportunity for the company,” he said, citing the $3.8 million the company got in 2006 (from satellite and telcos), and the 4.2 million cable homes Young gets no money for.

With several cable agreements up at the end of 2008, Morgan promised “full and frank discussions” with operators. 

Young owns 10 stations in 10 markets across the country.