Holland & Knight’s Charles Naftalin Negotiates $1.925 M Sale of Three Radio Stations with Broadcast Licensees' Owner in Prison
Convicted Felon on Appeal Granted FCC Approval for Sale of Three Scranton, Pa. Radio Stations to Bold Gold Media Group
Washington, D.C., December 15, 2005 – Holland & Knight LLP announced today that Charles Naftalin, Chair of the firms’ national telecommunications practice, worked with the Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania District Attorney’s office and proposed buyer Bold Gold Media Group (BGMG) to negotiate the sale of three Scranton, Pennsylvania, area radio stations.
Douglas V. Lane is the 100% shareholder of LB Radio Corporation, licensee of WYCK(AM) Scranton, Pennsylvania; and the 80% shareholder of Lancom, Inc., licensee of WICK(AM) Plains, Pennsylvania, and Lane Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WWRR(FM) Scranton, Pennsylvania. In March 2005, Lane was convicted in local Lackawanna County court of several felony counts of child molestation and child pornography. Lane was sentenced to a prison term in October 2005 and is currently incarcerated. He is appealing the convictions and sentence.
Under the terms of the sale, no portion of the purchase price will be paid at closing– directly or indirectly – to Mr. Lane or any other shareholders of the licensees. At the closing, proceeds would be used to satisfy all proven debts of the licensees and to make a non-refundable $300,000 payment to the Lackawanna County General Fund (LCGF), which would be distributed by the LCGF to victims of Lane and to Lackawanna County non-profit agencies that assist abused children. All remaining funds from the closing would be placed in an escrow account under the supervision of the District Attorney's office pending the final resolution of Mr. Lane's appeal. If Mr. Lane is exonerated of all felony convictions, then the funds in escrow would be distributed to him and the other shareholders. If any of the current felony convictions again Mr. Lane are sustained on appeal, then those funds would be tendered to the LCGF for charitable distributions in a manner directed by the District Attorney.
Pursuant to a ground breaking decision of the Federal Communications Commission dated December 9, 2005, the FCC approved the sale of the three radio stations under the terms described above. The FCC found those terms to be in the public interest and characterized them as a "creative approach."
Charles Naftalin, a partner of Holland & Knight, practices in the area of telecommunications law. He is experienced in complex transactions involving commercial television and radio broadcasters.
Attorney Howard J. Braun represented the District Attorney and Attorney Robert L. Thompson represented BGMG.