Local TV

Broadcast Vet Mackin Eyes Acquisition of Distressed Plum TV

Plum TV files for Chapter 11, former Hearst TV executive VP interested in deal 1/04/2012 11:59:28 AM Eastern

Plum TV, owner of the Plum Network of local cable channels serving the nation's elite resort markets, has filed for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

In conjunction with the filing, Plum has entered into an asset purchase agreement with an investor group led by Terry Mackin, a broadcast TV veteran and the president of media consultancy ForesightLab, and Bill Apfelbaum, chairman of Media Ventures Group. Plum TV intends to submit the agreement to the court to serve as the "stalking horse" bid for an auction of Plum's assets.

Mackin was executive VP of then-Hearst-Argyle Television, was chairman and president of the NBC affiliates board, and had a brief run as Univision station group president in 2008.

Calls to Mackin's ForesightLab headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut were not picked up.

Plum airs local content in rich-people locales, such as the Hamptons, Aspen and Nantucket. It was founded in 2004 by Nantucket Nectars founder Tom Scott.

"We want to reassure our audiences and advertisers that Plum TV remains in business and will continue to provide our daily programming throughout this process," said Scott, who is chairman. "Plum and its respective channels continue to enjoy strong brand identification in desirable markets."

The investor group has agreed lend Plum TV $1 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

Scott Williams, founder and CEO of brand development agency Scott Williams & Co., has been appointed chief restructuring officer. Plum's bankruptcy counsel is SilvermanAcampora.

"While a filing is a difficult choice, after a tough time for the company, it is the right choice," Scott added. "As longtime, visionary senior media executives, Terry and Bill have excellent track records and we believe the Plum TV brand will be well positioned when it emerges from the proposed asset sale."

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