As part of a new multi-year financing agreement from Sandler Capital, Arnold Sheiffer has replaced Tom Burchill as chairman of Petry Media Corp., which owns Petry Television, Blair Television and a separate unit that represents Fox-owned TV stations. Sheiffer is also managing director of Sandler Capital and had been serving as both a Petry director and its interim chief financial officer. TV Group President Tim McAuliff is promoted to president and CEO of at PMC, with responsibility for all operating divisions. Bill Shaw (Petry/Fox), Val Napolitano (Petry) and Leo MacCourtney (Blair) continue as presidents of their respective sales divisions. Tom Burchill assumes the role of executive chairman.
Classic Communications is on the cusp of a financial disaster, with the rural MSO's auditors warning that it may not be able "continue as going concern." Such warnings are harsh and often precede a company's lunge toward bankruptcy court. After a delay, Classic filed its annual 10-K with the SEC, showing that it is close to violating its bank-loan covenants and is seeking a waiver from lenders. That's usually not life-threatening. However, Classic not only needs the waiver but wants lenders to come up with $148 million in new loans. Controlling shareholder Brera Partners is willing to put up $35 million, though as a loan rather than an equity injection that would more likely calm anxious lenders. Among Classic's problems: marginal growth in revenues and cash flow and a capital structure that calls for much stronger increases.