Paxson Proposes Renaming to Ion Media Networks

Feb 28, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Paxson Communications said Tuesday that it has proposed changing its corporate name to Ion Media Networks in a move that appears partly designed to leave its past behind.

A formal proposal will be presented to Paxson shareholders at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in June. If shareholders approve the name change, the company will also change its stock ticker symbol to ION on the American Stock Exchange.

“This new corporate identity mirrors our renewed commitment to find the best utilization and value proposition for our nationwide TV distribution and digital network platforms,” Paxson CEO Brandon Burgess said in a statement.

The name change would be part of a broader strategy to buff the image of a company that has struggled for years to find an audience amid a heavy debt load and an ongoing legal fight with NBC Universal, which owns a 33 percent stake in the broadcaster.

Late last year, the NBCU fight appeared to be resolving itself after the two companies agreed to a deal that gives Paxson 18 months to find a buyer for the company. Paxson’s founder and chairman, Lowell “Bud” Paxson, agreed to step down in order for Mr. Burgess, at the time a top NBCU executive, to assume the CEO spot.