In the ugly public battle between Alpha Media and former company CEO Larry Wilson, the latest blow in this drama is delivered by Alpha, in a filing with the FCC. Alpha Media is in the midst of a bankruptcy proceeding. Wilson is trying to derail that process. Here’s the latest.
Earlier this month former Alpha Media CEO Larry Wilson filed a 191 page document with the FCC that accused his former company of misleading the FCC, making decisions without proper board approval and challenging Alpha’s qualifications as a broadcast licensee.
His petition was filed as part of an attempt to block the license renewals of four Alpha stations.
Alpha’s latest response, filed by attorneys with Wiley Rein in Washington DC, state that Wilson is using the FCC to get back at his old company for not accepting his plan to infuse capital into the company. From the Alpha filing: “When one peels away the bombast of Wilson’s petition, it is clear that Wilson is inappropriately using the agency as a platform for rehashing his differences with certain members of the company’s Board of Directors and management, and vainly attempting to shoehorn assessment of his personal grievances into the Commission’s processes under the guise of spurious claims that Alpha is unfit to hold its broadcast licenses.”
Wilson is claiming two board members made a unilateral decision to reject his plan to infuse money into the company as it struggled to survive. Wilson’s filing alleges, “blatant, unlawful self-dealing by directors of a privately held licensee, flippant false certifications to the FCC and unauthorized transfers of control.” Wilson claimed that Alpha is on fire. .
Alpha’s attorney’s responded to that claim in their FCC response. “It is obvious that the burr in Wilson’s saddle is the Board’s determination not to accept Wilson’s own proposal. Contrary to Wilson’s assertions, his plan was not “unilaterally rejected” by Mr. Strauss and Mr. Mansour “without offering it to Alpha’s entire Board.” Instead, it was properly vetted by a committee of disinterested directors and then unanimously rejected by the Board which, in its business judgment, ultimately concluded that Wilson’s proposal was “materially inadequate” and supported by “no evidence that Mr. Wilson would be able to raise the money” required to carry out his proposal. Instead, the Board opted to continue with the station divestiture plan that eventually proved successful in achieving the Company’s objective to deleverage.”
Alpha says Wilson’s petition presents no evidence that raises legitimate concerns about whether Alpha has been and will continue to be truthful in future dealings with the Commission and that no directors or officers have made any false statements to the Commission.
In the latest filing current CEO Bob Proffitt signed a letter stating that in 2018 the Alpha Board determined that it would be in the best interest of the company to deleverage the business and that Wilson signed an agreement with Kalil & Co. to broker deals for Alpha.”
Alpha is requesting the FCC dismiss the petitions filed by Wilson and the applications for four stations be granted so the company can implement its Bankruptcy Court-approved restructuring.