Removed CEO Young Makes Old Play: Added Compensation

by , Aug 30, 2010, 4:49 PM
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After being removed as CEO of New Young Broadcasting this month, Vincent Young filed separate motions Monday seeking more than $3.3 million in compensation, the bulk of which would be a severance package.

In New York federal bankruptcy court, Vincent Young is arguing that a contract he signed in 2007 entitles him to a minimum of $2.8 million in severance, which is two years' salary.

Then, in a separate filing, Vincent Young is asking the judge to award him an additional $514,000, which he says the company failed to pay him during a period leading up to June 15. He is now non-executive chairman of the board.

Young Broadcasting, which owns 10 stations, filed for bankruptcy in early 2009. The new owners of the station group -- the senior lenders -- removed Vincent Young as CEO effective on Aug. 10 after the reorganization process.

Vincent Young says in court papers that he verbally agreed to a temporary 40% salary cut in July 2009. He argues that he was entitled to $1.3 million for a period leading up to June 15 of this year, but did not receive the full amount and is still owed $514,000.

Regarding the $2.8 million in possible severance payment, Vincent Young acknowledges that the amount could have been much less, but the new owners failed to give him proper notice about his termination. He says the potential severance was "a substantial inducement" for him to remain head of the company throughout its bankruptcy restructuring.

The 10 stations in the portfolio of what is now called New Young Broadcasting count five ABC affiliates, including ones in Nashville, Tenn. and Richmond, Va.; the MyNetworkTV affiliate in San Francisco; and a CBS affiliate in South Dakota. Under a deal cut in bankruptcy court, Gray Television will begin overseeing seven of the stations.

In addition to the $1.4 million salary, Young's 2007 contract called for annual bonuses that could be more than 200% of his base salary, and included provisions to cover some of his tax payments.

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