Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

WAZE Owners Settle Suit ; LOCAL TV

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

WAZE Owners Settle Suit ; LOCAL TV

Article excerpt

Michael and Steven Roberts, the St. Louis media/hotel/property development moguls who own CW affiliate WAZE-TV in Evansville, have solved one of their myriad financial crises. The St. Louis Post- Dispatch reported last week that the brothers have reached an agreement with Bank of America, which sued them in April for $34 million, the balance of a defaulted loan for renovations to their hotels outside the St. Louis area.

As part of the agreement, the brothers' six hotels in Atlanta; Dallas; Houston; Shreveport, La.; Spartanburg, S. C; and Tampa are to be sold by year's end. The proceeds from the sales will go to Bank of America. Thomas DeWoskin, attorney for the Roberts brothers, says the bank will recoup more of its money in this fashion and the suit is expected to be dropped.

This development comes just days after the pair's hotel and property companies made Black Enterprise's list of the top 100 African-American-owned businesses in the nation (Roberts Properties was ranked 36th, the hotel group 40th). As the Post-Dispatch notes, however, after the six hotels up for grabs are gone, the hotel group will likely be much lower on next year's list.

Next up on the Robertses' plate: What to do with their bankrupt TV operation and several of their other languishing properties, at least one of which (a hotel in St. Louis) is in receivership because of another lawsuit.

The four Roberts Broadcasting TV stations have been in the protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Eastern Missouri since late last year, and a reorganization plan was supposed to be submitted several months ago. There was some talk from DeWoskin earlier this year that the stations would be sold (and rumors of a potential buyer for WAZE have even surfaced), but nothing further has come along.

In other news this week


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