Biz Briefs: Kirch Sues Liberty, Deutsche Bank

Jan 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Former German media mogul Leo Kirch filed a lawsuit last week against Liberty Media and German investment bank Deutsche Bank, charging that the two companies orchestrated the downfall of Mr. Kirch’s media empire, KirchGroup. The suit, filed Jan. 15 in New York State Supreme Court, charges that Liberty and its chairman, John Malone, teamed with Deutsche Bank to thwart debt-laden KirchGroup’s proposed recovery plan, thus facilitating KirchGroup’s dismantling and clearing the way for Mr. Malone to easily extend Liberty’s reach into the German television market.
LIN Sells Flint Station
Television station sales activity picked up last week with two transactions involving small and midsize-market stations. Station group LIN TV agreed last Tuesday to sell all the assets of its Flint, Mich., NBC affiliate WEYI-TV to Barrington Broadcasting, an owner of eight network-affiliated TV stations in midsize markets. Barrington is run by CEO K. James Yager, former president of Benedek Broadcasting. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission, LIN will own 23 stations in 13 markets.
Charter Appeal Hits Dead End
Charter Communications lost its final attempt to reverse its loss in a franchise-rights battle after the U.S. Supreme Court refused last week to hear an appeal filed by the cable operator. Charter’s case centered on the transfer of the cable-system franchise in Santa Cruz County, Calif., which the county board of supervisors refused to grant the company until Charter Chairman Paul Allen provided financing information on Mr. Allen’s 1998 purchase of Charter. After Charter won a federal trial, an appeals court ruled that governments should have wide latitude in how they treat local cable franchises. The high court let that ruling stand for now in choosing not to hear Charter’s appeal.