Belo Corp. Gets Monies From Bankrupt GM

stacks of cash

As media companies look to collect unpaid bills from General Motors, station group Belo Corp. has reached a settlement after claiming it was owed $2.5 million by the bankrupt automaker.

Whether Belo will receive that full amount is unclear -- the matter is confidential. But in court papers filed Monday, Belo said negotiations had resolved all issues.

Belo operates 20 stations, including the ABC affiliate in Dallas and CBS station in Houston. GM has emerged from bankruptcy, so companies looking to recoup money must tangle with an entity referred to as the "old GM."

A representative for Belo did not immediately provide comment, while a GM official did not return a call seeking comment.

After GM sought Chapter 11 protection in June, Belo filed court papers alleging the automaker did not properly account for money owed the station group. As part of bankruptcy proceedings, GM had set up a Web site where media companies (and others) could log in to find out what GM believed it owed them.



But Belo said when it logged in, it found that GM listed no dollar amount, or information about contracts it might fulfill. In court papers, it said a "substantial number of ad buys had been placed" for GM before the bankruptcy filing "for which Belo did not receive payment."

For those buys, Belo claimed it was owed up to $2.5 million and filed an objection. Bankruptcy court papers filed Monday show that was withdrawn by both Belo and newspaper operator A.H. Belo.

Other media companies have filed similar objections to Belo's, including NBC Universal, which said GM acknowledged it owed the company money, but did not list an amount. There is no indication that this matter has been resolved.

Discovery Communications claimed in court papers it was owed "substantially" more than what GM believed -- which apparently also has not been resolved.

Scripps Networks, however, has withdrawn a complaint. All three programmers failed to list any dollar amounts in court papers.

How GM is handling pre-bankruptcy bills owed to media companies is mixed, with indications that some programmers are being paid in full, while others remain uncertain what will happen.

Starcom MediaVest, which likely bought the ad time for GM, is not liable for the bills.

SMG, however, said last month that GM owes it about $13 million for work performed. Interpublic Group, which owns creative and other agencies working with GM, said it has been "receiving payments in accordance with contract terms."

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