Young Broadcasting, which has 10 stations and emerged from bankruptcy last year, is open to an acquisition for perhaps $350 million. TVNewsCheck, which reported the possible Young sale, indicated the asking price could be helped by projected election intake.
The sale is timed to capitalize on the bonanza of local station political ad revenues expected in the 2012 presidential election.
The McGraw-Hill group, which includes ABC stations in San Diego and Denver, was recently also put up for sale.
Per TV NewsCheck, sources say the Young asking price represents a multiple of about eight times blended projected 2011-12 cash flow, which is in the low $30 million range.
The move would signify the potential for a return to active M&A in the local-station business after a slowdown during the recession.
Young's portfolio includes the ABC stations in Richmond and Nashville, as well as KRON, the MyNetworkTV affiliate in San Francisco. Before the bankruptcy filing, KRON was struggling, although Young has said it was profitable in 2010.
In April, Young said Tony Cassara was named CEO, while longtime chief Vincent Young has left the company. In 2010, Young Broadcasting emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization with its $830 million in debt reduced to $360 million.