Plum TV, the media company that operates channel 18 on the East End, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 3 as it grapples with large debts and losses.
The New York City-based company, which operates television stations and magazines in several high end resort locations, is for sale for $1 million and the assumption of $14 million in liabilities, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. An investor group led by Terry Mackin, president of ForesightLab, and Bill Apfelbaum, chairman of Media Ventures Group, are seeking to buy the company in a court-supervised auction, according to a press release from the company.
“While a filing is a difficult choice, after a tough time for the company, it is the right choice,” Tom Scott, the founder and chairman of Plum TV, said in the release. “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.”
Mr. Scott also said viewers and advertisers could expect Plum TV to continue airing shows.
“Plum and its respective channels continue to enjoy strong brand identification in desirable markets,” he said. “With berths on cable systems serving these markets, coupled with the rapid growth of over-the-top video viewing and viewing of local content on mobile devices, the Plum Network of channels has strong distribution and viewer loyalty.”
Court filings show that Plum TV, which has an office in Bridgehampton, reported assets of $8.6 million and liabilities of $19 million, and listed more than 300 creditors, about a dozen of which are located on the East End. The company, which was founded in 2003, projected a net loss of $8.4 million in 2011.
The bankruptcy filing comes after Plum TV laid off about 70 employees on September 6 in an effort to trim costs, reducing its payroll to just 12 employees. Days before the layoffs, on September 1, the company’s chief executive officer, Jerry Powers, resigned. Mr. Scott has been running day-to-day operations since then, according to court documents.
In October, Mr. Powers filed a $75,000 lawsuit against Mr. Scott, his wife, Emily Scott, and Plum TV claiming breach of contract and alleging mismanagement.
Scott Williams, founder and chief executive officer of brand development agency Scott Williams & Co., has been appointed chief restructuring officer of Plum TV, according to the press release. SilvermanAcampora is serving as bankruptcy counsel.