Jim Crane Wants the CSN Houston Matter Settled, and He Means It
Jim Crane met with the members of the Astros media on Monday before the team's win over the Seattle Mariners. Topics of discussion included his disappointment with the team's start and the progress toward a new spring training facility. But it's his comments regarding the continuing CSN Houston saga that were of most interest.
Jim Crane wants this matter handled in 30 days
Stating that bankruptcy judge Marvin Isgur has the ability to move things along quickly at the speed of light and that Isgur has the leeway to do just about whatever he wants, Crane sounded pessimistic about the outcome and about progress in mediation. And that said, he wants this situation wrapped up quickly.
"So I would like to see something resolved within 30 days, one way or another," he said. "He (Judge Isgur) could make that happen -- it could linger longer than (that), but it's certainly not good for us, and it's not good for the Rockets. I don't think it's having any big-term effect on Comcast."
Not being in Seattle on Monday, I didn't have the ability to ask any questions. And I've got lots of questions, but the primary question is this: Is he dropping his appeal of Isgur's bankruptcy ruling? The judge might possess the power to make things happen at light speed, but he has minimal powers while the case is on appeal -- he can make orders keeping the network lights on, make sure employees get paid, etc., but he has no real power over the actual bankruptcy because he and the parties are still waiting for Judge Lynn Hughes to rule on Crane's appeal.
But Crane's 30-day wish leads to some conclusions. First, if he is dropping the appeal, that does put Isgur back in charge of the bankruptcy. Isgur has not been sympathetic to the Astros' arguments, and it's likely the network reorganization plan would not be one to Crane's liking. There's also the likely possibility that Hughes has told the parties how he plans to rule regarding the appeal and that the case will soon be returning to Isgur, with likely the same dissatisfactory results for the Astros.
There's also another possibility, that the parties are close to settling things. They would need Isgur's blessing on any deal, but Isgur can bless such a deal quickly. Crane stated he didn't know if there would be further mediation sessions. But while he didn't sound thrilled at how the sessions have gone, it did sound as if progress has been made.