TCR_Public/960816.MBX BANKRUPTCY CREDITORS' SERVICE, INC.


Bankruptcy and Troubled Company News


August 16, 1996



  1. Leslie Fay reports results for 1996 second quarter
  2. American Gaming reports 1996 second quarter results
  3. Riviera Assumes Management of Four Queens
  4. Seven-Up/RC Bottling Co. of S. California Consummates Plan of Reorganization
  5. Spectrum Information Technologies' Plan of Reorganization Confirmed
  6. Metromedia International Group reports 1996 second quarter results
  7. Bayou Steel Ends NLRB Hearing, Agrees to Recognize USWA ...
  8. Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc. Announces Management Changes
  9. Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc. Reports First Quarter Results





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Leslie Fay reports results for 1996 second quarter


        


            NEW YORK, NY  --  Aug. 16, 1996  --  The Leslie Fay
        Companies, Inc.
today reported improved financial results for the
        second quarter and first half of fiscal 1996 as compared with the
        same periods in 1995.  
        


            For the 13 weeks ended June 29, 1996, Leslie Fay reported an
        operating profit of $0.5 million, compared with an operating loss of
        $5.2 million in the second quarter of 1995.  This improvement
        resulted from the Company's decisions to change its business
        strategy for its Dress and Sportswear divisions to focus on higher
        margin business, close its domestic production facility, control
        production levels, and discontinue low-margin labels.  These and
        other actions led to an improvement in Leslie Fay's gross profit
        from 20.6 percent of net sales in the second quarter of 1995 to 23.7
        percent of net sales in the 1996 second quarter.  The Company's
        "Selling, warehouse, general and administrative expenses"  decreased
        to 22.7 percent in the second quarter of 1996 from 25.9 percent in
        the same period a year ago.  
        


            Leslie Fay's net sales in the second quarter of 1996 were $83.1
        million, compared with $92.6 million in the same period a year ago.
        Contributing to this decrease were the Company's decisions in the
        second half of 1995 to close its Leslie Fay retail store division,
        discontinue certain other labels and redirect the Company's selling
        efforts away from unprofitable customers.  On a comparable basis,
        after excluding the effect of these closings and new businesses, the
        remaining businesses had a net sales increase of 1.5 percent in the
        second quarter of 1996 as compared to the second quarter of 1995.  
        


            After reorganization costs, interest and financing costs, and
        taxes, Leslie Fay reported net income of $0.1 million, or $0.01 per
        share, in the 1996 second quarter, compared with a net loss of $12.1
        million, or $0.64 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.
        


            For the 26 weeks ended June 19, 1996, Leslie Fay reported
        operating income of $8.0 million on sales of $204.1 million,
        compared with an operating loss of $5.9 million on sales of $224.6
        million in the same period a year ago.  The Company reported net
        income in the 1996 first half of $6.0 million, or $0.32 per share,
        compared with a net loss of $15.5 million, or $0.83 per share, in
        the first six months of 1995.  
        


            As previously announced, Leslie Fay and the Official Committee
        of Unsecured Creditors of Leslie Fay are in the process of jointly
        developing an amended plan of reorganization that would provide for
        the company to emerge from chapter 11 by separating its Sassco
        Fashions business from its core Leslie Fay businesses.  If this
        proposed plan is consummated, Leslie Fay's current equity will be
        extinguished.  
        


            Founded in 1947, The Leslie Fay Companies, Inc., is one of the
        nation's leading manufacturers of women's apparel, including
        dresses, suits and sportswear.  Its brand names include Leslie Fay,
        Albert Nipon, Kasper for A.S.L., Castleberry, Outlander, and HUE.



                 The Leslie Fay Companies, Inc. and Subsidiaries
                             (Debtor In Possession)
                 Condensed Consolidated Financial Information
                     (In thousands, except per share data)
                                  (Unaudited)
        
                       Twenty-Six Weeks Ended    Thirteen Weeks Ended
                       June 29,       July 1,    June 29,     July 1,
                         1996           1995       1996         1995
        Statement of
         Operations Data:
        
        Net sales         $201,143       $224,600    $83,094      $92,598
        Operating
         income (loss)       7,983         (5,924)       538       (5,202)
        
        Income (loss)
         before taxes        6,662        (14,960)       422      (11,837)
        Taxes on income        638            542        323          268
        Net income (loss)    6,024        (15,502)        99      (12,105)
        
        Net income per
         share of common
         stock               $0.32         ($0.83)     $0.01       ($0.64)
        Weighted average
         common shares
         outstanding        18,772         18,772     18,772       18,772


         Balance Sheet Data:        as of         as of
                              June 29,      Dec. 30,
                                1996           1995
        
        Total assets              $233,515      $245,980
        Total liabilities          383,601       401,888
        Stockholders' deficit     (150,086)     (155,908)


        CONTACT:  James Fingeroth
                  Michael Freitag
                  Kekst and Company
                  (212) 593-2655



American Gaming reports 1996 second quarter results


        


            ATLANTIC CITY, NJ  --  Aug. 16, 1996  --  American Gaming &
        Entertainment Ltd.
(OTC Bulletin Board:"AGEL"; the "Company")
        reported as previously disclosed in its Form 10-QSB filed with the
        Securities and Exchange Commission, that net loss for common
        stockholders for the three months ended June 30, 1996 was
        approximately $2,410,000 or (19 cents) per share as compared to
        $9,268,000 or (75 cents) per share for the comparable period in
        1995.
        


            Such decrease in net loss for common stockholders was primarily
        attributable to (i) an increase in revenues of $986,000 related to
        the charter of the Gold Coast Casino barge to President Mississippi
        Charter Corp. and (ii) a decrease in expenses of (a) approximately
        $260,000 in compensation expenses due to the resignation or
        termination effective Dec. 15, 1995 of all but five of the company's
        non-keno employees, (b) approximately $361,000 in personnel, travel
        & entertainment and consulting expenses associated  with the
        company's change in business direction from the development  of
        gaming projects to the management of its equity interests in gaming
        projects, (c) $425,000 in lease expense for a riverboat and barge
        for which all future lease expenses were fully expensed in 1995, (d)
        approximately $464,000 in depreciation and amortization expense, (e)
        approximately $2,250,000 in operating costs and expenses related to
        the writedown of the company's investments in the S.S. Aquarama and
        a former railroad station in Mobile, Ala. in the three months ended
        June 30, 1995 and (f) approximately $2,863,000 in equity in losses
        related to the operations of the company's two Mississippi
        subsidiaries currently in bankruptcy, for which no such operating
        losses were recorded in the three months ended June 30, 1996.
        


            All of the foregoing were partially offset by (i) decreases of
        approximately $392,000 and $116,000 attributable to keno revenues
        and revenues from a video lottery management contract, respectively,
        (ii) the write-off as of June 30, 1996 of a receivable in the amount
        of approximately $221,000 due from the company's major stockholder
        related to unpaid lease and tax obligations of the company which
        were assumed by such stockholder and (iii) an accrual of $250,000
        during the three months ended June 30, 1996 as management's estimate
        of additional settlement liabilities related to such bankruptcies
        ($3 million for such liabilities was accrued in the fourth quarter
        of 1995).
        


            Net loss for common stockholders for the six months ended June
        30, 1996 was approximately $3,107,000 or (25 cents) per share as
        compared to $14,468,000 or ($1.17) per share for the comparable
        period in 1995.
        


            Such decrease in net loss for common stockholders was primarily
        attributable to (i) an increase in revenues of $1,972,000 related to
        the charter of the Gold Coast Casino barge to President Mississippi
        Charter Corp., (ii) a net gain of $948,000 on the sale of the
        company's keno assets and (iii) a decrease in expenses of (a)
        approximately $603,000 in compensation expenses due to the
        resignation or termination effective Dec.  15, 1995 of all but five
        of the company's non-keno employees, (b) approximately $855,000 in
        personnel, travel & entertainment, legal and consulting expenses
        associated with the company's change in business direction from the
        development of gaming projects to the management of its equity
        interest in gaming projects, (c) $425,000 in lease expense for a
        riverboat and barge for which all future lease expenses were fully
        expensed in 1995, (d) approximately $622,000 in depreciation and
        amortization expense, (e) approximately $2,250,000 in operating
        costs and expenses related to the writedown of the company's
        investments in the S.S.  Aquarama and a former railroad station in
        Mobile, Ala.  in the six months ended June 30, 1995, and (f)
        approximately $4,407,000 in equity in losses related to the
        operations of the company's two Mississippi subsidiaries currently
        in bankruptcy, for which no such operating losses were recorded in
        the six months ended June 30, 1996.
        


            All of the forgoing were partially offset by (i) decreases of
        approximately $334,000 and $204,000 attributable to keno revenues
        and revenues from a video lottery management contract, respectively,
        (b) the write-off as of June 30, 1996 of a receivable in the amount
        of approximately $221,000 due from the company's major stockholder
        related to unpaid lease and tax obligations of the company which
        were assumed by such stockholder, (c) an accrual of $250,000 during
        the three months ended June 30, 1996 as management's estimate of
        additional settlement liabilities related to such bankruptcies ($3
        million for such liabilities was accrued in the fourth quarter of
        1995), and (d) an increase in interest expense of $249,000
        attributable to an increase in average debt outstanding due to the
        company's major stockholder.  
        


            The company also announced that J. Douglas Wellington, the
        company's interim president and chief operating officer, was elected
        as president and chief operating officer.
        


            The company's common stock is traded on the OTC Bulletin Board
        under the symbol "AGEL".
        


        CONTACT: American Gaming & Entertainment Ltd.
                 J. Douglas Wellington, 609/272-9099 or Fax: 609/272-7772



Riviera Assumes
Management of Four Queens; 700-Room Hotel and 33,000 Square Foot Casino in Prime Location


        


            LAS VEGAS, Nev.  --  Aug. 15, 1996  --  Riviera Holdings
        Corporation (AMEX: RIV) today announced that it has assumed
        management of the Four Queens Hotel and Casino located in downtown
        Las Vegas as of August 12.
        


            The announcement came after a federal bankruptcy judge confirmed
        the plan of reorganization of Elsinore Corporation, owner of the
        Four Queens.  Under an interim agreement, Riviera's wholly-owned
        subsidiary, Riviera Gaming Management (RGM), will manage the Four
        Queens for a monthly fee of $83,333. RGM specializes in rescuing
        financially troubled hotel and casino operations.
        


            The interim agreement will be converted to a 40-month management
        agreement on the Effective Date which RGM expects to occur during
        the fourth quarter of 1996.  The management agreement provides for
        management fees equal to 25 percent of the increase in earnings
        before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), with
        a minimum of $1 million per year.  RGM also will be issued warrants
        to acquire 20 percent of the new entity.  The Effective Date of the
        plan of reorganization is contingent upon the licensing of the new
        board of directors of the new Elsinore Corporation/Four Queens Inc.
        entity and RGM and its director(s) and officer(s) and other factors.
        


            "We are excited about our agreement to manage the Four Queens,"
        said Riviera Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Westerman.
        "The Four Queens is centrally located in the revitalized Fremont
        Street area of downtown Las Vegas.  Its superior location and
        popularity are a solid foundation our management team of turnaround
        experts can build upon."
        


            The Four Queens consists of a 700-room hotel and 33,000 square
        foot gaming facility.  It is located in Las Vegas' Fremont Street
        Experience, a $70 million renovation effort that attracts visitors
        to gaming in downtown Las Vegas.  A nightly laser and music show
        complements efforts by casinos to increase downtown foot traffic.
        


            Mr. Westerman also announced that Martin Gross, Riviera's Vice
        President of Hotel Sales is serving as General Manager of the Four
        Queens during the interim period.  Also, Gina Contner, Riviera's
        Financial Controller, has assumed the position of Director of
        Finance for the Four Queens and Raquel Rodriguez, Riviera's Director
        of Special Events has assumed the position of Director of Marketing
        at the Four Queens.  Mr. Westerman stated, "These experienced
        executives, working together with the remaining management of the
        Four Queens, will form a strong team geared toward accelerating
        growth at the Four Queens."
        


            RGM is made up of the same management team that successfully
        turned around the Riviera Hotel and Casino.  RGM is actively
        pursuing opportunities in gaming jurisdictions to return distressed
        hotel and casino properties to profitability.
        


            In addition to operating the Four Queens, Riviera Holdings Corp.
        operates the Riviera Hotel and Casino, located on the north end of
        the Las Vegas Strip. Riviera is traded on the American Stock
        Exchange under the symbol RIV.
        


CONTACT:  Duane Krohn, Treasurer and CFO, 702-794-9527, or John Wishon,
        Secretary and General Counsel, 702-794-9504, both of Riviera Holdings
        Corporation; or analysts, Bonnie McBride, or media, Jerry Miller of
        FRB San Francisco, 415-986-1591, or general info, Dick Strasbaugh of FRB New
        York, 212-661-8030, all for Riviera Holdings



Seven-Up/RC Bottling Company of Southern California Consummates Plan of Reorganization


        


            VERNON, Calif.  --  Aug. 15, 1996  --  Seven-Up/RC Bottling
        Company of Southern California, Inc.
announced today that it has
        consummated the Company's First Amended Joint Plan of
        Reorganization, dated June 19, 1996 (the "Plan").  As previously
        announced, the Plan was confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court on August
        2, 1996, and had been accepted by holders of in excess of 99.96% of
        the total dollar amount of the Company's 11.5% Senior Secured Notes
        due 1999 ($140 million principal amount) (the "Noteholders") who
        voted on the Plan.  According to the Company, distributions under
        the Plan will begin in the next few days.
        


            Under the Plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court, Noteholders
        receive approximately 98% of the Company's equity and $55 million
        - representing the net proceeds from the sale of the Company's
        Puerto Rico subsidiary.  An application for the listing of the
        Company's common stock on Nasdaq has been filed.  The Plan also
        provides that the Company's trade creditors are to be paid in full
        and that all relationships with franchisors, distributors and
        licensors will continue unaffected.
        


            Bart Brodkin, the CEO of the Company, commented that "our
        restructuring has eliminated over $140,000,000 of debt obligations,
        which combined with significant cost reductions and improved margins
        has resulted in a significant increase in our cash flow.  Our
        balance sheet is strong with virtually no debt, other than a working
        capital facility of $35,000,000 which will provide liquidity well in
        excess of our projected needs.  The Company has emerged from Chapter
        11 as a strong, disciplined and profitable bottling company."
        


            Also, the Company announced that a new board of directors had
        been constituted, and will consist of Barton S. Brodkin, the
        Company's CEO and President prior to its bankruptcy filing; John R.
        Attwood, former Chairman of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los
        Angeles; William C. Langley, former Executive Vice President of
        Chemical Banking Corporation (Chase Manhattan Corporation); M. L.
        Lowenkron, former President and CEO of G. Heileman Brewing Co., Inc.
        and former CEO of A&W Brands, Inc.; and Sydney lrmas, former
        Chairman of Softview, Inc. and former director of Price Phister,
        Inc.
        


            Seven-Up/RC Bottling Company of Southern California, Inc. is one
        of the largest independent manufacturers and distributors of
        beverage products in the United States.
        


CONTACT:  Edward Whiting of Whitman Heffernan Rhein & Co., Inc., for
        Seven-Up/RC Bottling Company of Southern California, Inc., 213-267-
        6233



Spectrum Information Technologies' Plan of Reorganization Confirmed by Bankruptcy Court


        


            PURCHASE, NY  --  Aug. 15, 1996  --  Spectrum Information
        Technologies, Inc.
(OTC Bulletin Board: SPCLQ) today announced that
        Judge Conrad B. Duberstein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the
        Eastern District of New York has confirmed Spectrum's proposed plan
        of reorganization in its pending chapter 11 proceeding.  The plan's
        effective date and distributions to Spectrum's creditors remain
        contingent upon final approval by the United States District Court
        of the Eastern District of New York of the previously announced
        settlement framework to the $676 million securities class action
        pending against Spectrum.  A hearing to approve the class action
        settlement has been tentatively scheduled for November 15, 1996.
        


            If the District Court approves the class action settlement (as
        described in Spectrum's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q
        for the period ended June 30, 1996), which was reached as a result
        of negotiations supervised by the court, Spectrum will emerge from
        chapter 11 and leave behind many of the issues that contributed to
        the new management's decision to file for bankruptcy in January
        1995.  Most significantly, Spectrum will have settled over $700
        million in claims, including the class action lawsuit that was filed
        against the Company in 1993.  The settlement is designed to preserve
        Spectrum's cash for use in developing its business.
        


        New Strategic Direction for Reorganized Spectrum


            Spectrum holds a portfolio of basic patents related to wireless
        transmission of data over cellular networks.  Through the
        reorganization process, Spectrum has refocused its business on this
        core competency.
        


            Since January 1995, Spectrum's new management, led by its
        Chairman and CEO, Donald J. Amoruso, and an entirely new Board of
        Directors, closed unprofitable operations and sold assets not
        integral to Spectrum's new vision of becoming a leader in mobile
        communications software.  The Company's strategy is to develop value-
        added mobile communications software products.
        


            Spectrum's new management team has been actively redirecting the
        Company from an intellectual property and licensing organization
        with low royalty income to becoming a provider of software-based
        wireless and mobile communications products.  The Company is in the
        process of converting existing license relationships into alliances
        that may serve as channels for distribution of the Company's
        software products.  Spectrum this year announced that it has entered
        an agreement with U.S. Robotics that provides for a framework for a
        strategic relationship that can be beneficial to Spectrum's business
        plan and a cross-license agreement with Motorola, Inc. for use of
        specified intellectual property.
        


        New Technical Leadership


            Spectrum has hired leaders in software and communications to
        form the core of a creative technical team that will help implement
        its vision.  The newest members of Spectrum's technical management
        are:
       


            "We are very pleased that Mikhail said Richard have joined the
        Spectrum team," Mr. Amoruso said.  "Both are highly talented and
        well-regarded technologists who will play a major role in
        determining the future course of our business.  We intend to combine
        their expertise and creativity with Spectrum's patented technology
        and strategic business relationships to develop a full suite of
        mobile communications software products that can be sold to a
        growing user population for wireless data services."
        


        100 Percent Recovery for Unsecured Creditors; Shareholders Expected
        to Retain Approximately 45% Equity Ownership


            Spectrum's plan of reorganization as confirmed by the Bankruptcy
        Court will provide all general unsecured creditors with 100 percent
        of the value of their claims plus 6 percent annual interest from the
        date of the bankruptcy filing, on the effective date of the plan.
        It also will settle all of the class action lawsuits filed against
        the Company by the payment of $250,000 cash and the delivery of
        approximately 45 percent of the equity ownership in the reorganized
        company to a trustee to be distributed to the members of the class.
        The settlement is subject to approval by the District Court.
       


            Although existing Spectrum stockholders will be substantially
        diluted, under the terms of the plan current shareholders should
        obtain the majority of the 45 percent equity ownership in the
        reorganized company set aside for such shareholders and certain
        creditors.  This should hold true based on Spectrum's current market
        value even after the issuance of $300,000 worth of stock to the
        liquidating trustee of Spectrum's former Computer Bay subsidiary in
        connection with the recent settlement of the trustee's multi-million
        dollar claim against Spectrum.  Ten percent of the ownership of the
        reorganized entity is set aside as incentive compensation for
        Spectrum's management and employees.
        


            "We are pleased that Spectrum's existing shareholders will
        retain a significant portion of the equity ownership in the
        reorganized company, which will allow them to participate in any
        future growth and success that Spectrum is able to achieve," Mr.
        Amoruso said.  "While many of Spectrum's shareholders have
        experienced a severe diminution of their initial investment, many
        equity holders typically lose their entire investment when a company
        enters into chapter 11 proceedings."
        


            "Spectrum is continuing to meet important milestones as we build
        for the future," Mr. Amoruso said.  "Many people thought that the
        Spectrum saga had only 11 chapters, but today Spectrum is starting a
        new chapter with a new focus.  The road ahead is not without risk,
        but we are excited about the opportunity to develop Spectrum."
        


            Spectrum stock is currently traded in the NASD OTC Bulletin
        Board.  After the effective date of Spectrum's plan of
        reorganization, the Company will endeavor to relist its equity on a
        major exchange after it is able to meet applicable listing
        requirements.
        


CONTACT:  Media Only:  Michael Freitag of Kekst and Company,
        212-593-2655; or Investors:  Investor Relations, Spectrum
        Information Technologies, Inc., 914-251-1800, ext. 182



Metromedia International Group reports 1996 second quarter results


        


            ATLANTA, GA  --  Aug. 14, 1996  --  Metromedia
        International Group Inc. (MIG) (ASE:MMG) Wednesday reported
        financial results for the second quarter of 1996.  
        


            Revenues for the three months ended June 30, 1996, were $38.0
        million, compared with revenues of $40.8 million for the same period
        last year.  The company reported an operating loss for the quarter
        of $10.1 million, compared with an operating loss of $7.5 million
        for the second quarter of 1995.  
        


            The net loss for the quarter was $18.9 million, or a loss of
        $.44 per share, compared with a loss of $16.7 million, or $.80 per
        share, for the same period last year.  
        


             Revenues for the six months ended June 30, 1996, were $68.8
        million, compared with revenues of $78.4 million for the same period
        last year.  The company reported an operating loss for the first six
        months of 1996 of $20.1 million, compared with an operating loss of
        $18.2 million for the same period of 1995.  
        


            The net loss for the six months ended June 30, 1996, was $38.0
        million, or a loss of $.89 per share, compared with a loss of $37.1
        million, or a loss of $1.77 per share, for the first six months of
        1995.  
        


            Commenting on the second quarter results, John D. Phillips,
        president and chief executive officer, said:  "The results for the
        second quarter show continued growth in overall subscribers for our
        Communications Group, both for our consolidated and unconsolidated
        Joint Ventures.  
        


            "Wireless cable television subscribers grew to 53,706 in the
        aggregate, a 101% increase over the past year.  Paging subscribers
        increased to 29,107 in the aggregate, a 354% increase over the past
        year.  
        


            "The results of the Entertainment Group's activities demonstrate
        that our distribution engine is moving forward with the recent
        theatrical release of Goldwyn's `I Shot Andy Warhol' and Orion's
        `Original Gangstas' along with LIVE Entertainment's `The Arrival'
        and `The Substitute.' In addition, our Orion Pictures and Goldwyn
        Entertainment subsidiaries have commenced preproduction on a number
        of motion picture projects."  
        


             On July 2, 1996, the company successfully completed the
        following transactions:
        


        A public offering of 18.4 million shares of common stock
        generating gross proceeds of $202.4 million.  Proceeds will
        be used to finance the build-out of MIG's Communications
        Group's operations in Eastern Europe and other emerging
        markets and were used, in part, to pay existing debt.
         


        The acquisition of The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Motion
        Picture Corp. of America.  The acquisition of Goldwyn
        expands the Entertainment Group by adding a valuable library
        of more than 850 films and television titles including
        numerous Hollywood classics and recently acclaimed films,
        and what MIG believes is the leading specialized theater
        circuit in the United States with 140 screens.  
         


        A $300.0 million secured credit facility: to refinance the
        indebtedness of Orion Pictures Corp. and Goldwyn's
        existing indebtedness, to finance the production,
        acquisition and distribution of entertainment products and
        for general corporate purposes.
        


            Metromedia International Group is a global entertainment, media
        and communications company whose primary operations are focused on
        two business groups:
        


        The Entertainment Group, through Orion Pictures Corp., which
        is engaged primarily in the development, production, acquisition
        and worldwide distribution of motion pictures, television
        programming and prerecorded video cassettes, and
         


        The Communications Group, operated through Metromedia
        International Telecommunications, Inc., which owns interest
        in, and participates along with local partners in the
        management of joint ventures which operate wireless cable
        television systems, paging systems, an international toll
        call service, a Trunked Mobile Radio service and radio
        stations in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics.


        
                     METROMEDIA INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC.
               Consolidated Condensed Statements of Operations
                   (in thousands, except per-share amounts)
                                (Unaudited)
        
                                    Three Months Ended     Six Months Ended
                                          June 30,              June 30,
                                      1996       1995       1996       1995
        
        Revenues                      $ 37,988   $ 40,755   $ 68,796   $
        78,433
        
        Costs and expenses:
          Costs of rentals and
           operating expenses           29,745     35,144     54,834
        72,012
          Selling, general and
           administrative               16,338     12,578     30,404
        23,552
          Depreciation and
           amortization                  1,967        493      3,690
        1,021
        
        Operating loss                 (10,062)   ( 7,460)   (20,132)
        (18,152)
        
        Interest expense, including
         amortization of debt discount   7,676      8,234     15,955
        17,170
        Interest income                  1,156        881      2,401
        1,698  
        Interest expense, net        6,520      7,353     13,554     15,472
        
        Chapter 11 reorganization items     83        168        137
        935
        
        Loss before provision for
         income taxes and equity in
         losses of joint ventures      (16,665)   (14,981)   (33,823)
        (34,559)
        
        Provision for income taxes         200        100        400
        300
        Equity in losses of Joint
         Ventures                        1,985      1,633      3,768
        2,221
        
        Net loss                      $(18,850)  $(16,714)  $(37,991)
        $(37,080)
        
        Primary loss per common share $  (0.44)  $  (0.80)  $  (0.89)  $
        (1.77)
        

                     METROMEDIA INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC.
                       Business Segment Information
                              (in thousands)
                               (Unaudited)
        
                               Three Months Ended    Six Months Ended
                               June 30,   June 30,  June 30,  June 30,
                                 1996       1995      1996     1995
        Entertainment Group:
        Revenues                   $ 35,212  $ 38,550  $ 62,853  $ 75,117
        Cost of rentals and
         operating expenses         (29,732)  (35,144)  (54,834)  (72,012)
        Selling, general &
         administrative              (4,576)   (5,614)   (9,488)  (10,986)
        Depreciation & amortization    (329)     (154)     (596)     (296)
        Operating income (loss)         575    (2,362)   (2,065)   (8,177)
        
        Communications Group:
        Revenues                      2,775     2,205     5,939     3,316
        Cost of rentals and
         operating expenses             (13)       --        --        --
        Selling, general &
         administrative              (8,969)   (6,964)  (16,494)  (12,566)
        Depreciation & amortization  (1,634)     (339)   (3,083)     (725)
        Operating loss               (7,841)   (5,098)  (13,638)   (9,975)
        
        Corporate Headquarters:
        Revenues                          1        --         4        --
        Cost of rentals and
         operating expenses              --        --        --        --
        Selling, general &
         administrative              (2,793)       --    (4,422)       --
        Depreciation & amortization      (4)       --       (11)       --
        Operating loss               (2,796)       --    (4,429)       --
        
        Consolidated:
        Revenues                     37,988    40,755    68,796    78,433
        Cost of rentals and
         operating expenses         (29,745)  (35,144)  (54,834)  (72,012)
        Selling, general &
         administrative             (16,338)  (12,578)  (30,404)  (23,552)
        Depreciation & amortization  (1,967)     (493)   (3,690)   (1,021)
        Operating loss              (10,062)   (7,460)  (20,132)  (18,152)
        
        Interest expense             (7,676)   (8,234)  (15,955)  (17,170)
        Interest income               1,156       881     2,401     1,698
        Chapter 11 losses               (83)     (168)     (137)     (935)
        Provision for income taxes     (200)     (100)     (400)     (300)
        Equity in losses of joint
         ventures                    (1,985)   (1,633)   (3,768)   (2,221)
        
        Net loss                   $(18,850) $(16,714) $(37,991) $(37,080)

        CONTACT:  Myers Company, Los Angeles
                  Phillip I. Myers, 310/282-2572


Bayou Steel Ends NLRB Hearing, Agrees to Recognize USWA, Rehire Union Members and Provide Partial Back Pay to Eligible Claimants


        


            KINGSTON, TN  --  Aug. 16, 1996  --  Bayou Steel of
        Tennessee, the new owner of the bankrupt Tennessee Valley Steel
        Corp.
, has agreed to recognize the United Steelworkers of America
        (USWA) as the exclusive bargaining agent for employees at its
        Harriman, TN, plant, ending a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
        hearing at which it was accused of numerous labor law violations.
        


        The agreement also requires the company to:
        


            Bayou, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayou Steel Corp. (AMEX:
        BYX) of LaPlace, LA, purchased Tennessee Valley Steel last year but
        refused to recognize the USWA, which represented the TVS workforce,
        and hired workers off the street to take the jobs of union members.
        


            The USWA brought unfair labor practices to the NLRB, which
        issued a complaint and scheduled the trial that was underway when
        the settlement was reached.  The NLRB will retain jurisdiction while
        negotiations proceed.
        


            "We're gratified the company recognized its responsibility to
        the Harriman workers and reached this agreement," said Richard
        Davis, USWA Vice-President for Administration.  "The company should
        likewise recognize its responsibility to its employees in LaPlace,
        sit down at the bargaining table and negotiate a contract that is
        fair to both sides."
        


            Some 300 members of USWA Local 9121 employed in LaPlace were
        forced to strike on March 21, 1993, because of the company's
        unwillingness to bargain in good faith.
        


            The NLRB in New Orleans has issued a complaint against Bayou in
        that case, accusing the company of 12 unfair labor practices and
        violating an agreement that would have settled previous charges
        brought by the union.  A hearing is scheduled for September 23 in
        New Orleans.  Among other things, the NLRB said the strike was
        caused and prolonged by Bayou's unfair labor practices.
        


CONTACT:  USWA Communications Department, 412-562-2442



Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc. Announces Management Changes


        


            CAROL STREAM, Ill  --  Aug. 16, 1996  --  Ben Franklin Retail
        Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: BFRS) announced today that David A. Brainard
        has tendered his resignation as Senior Vice President and Chief
        Financial Officer to pursue other business interests.
        


            In order to ensure an orderly transition, the Company will
        utilize the services of Price Waterhouse, LLP, to assist the Company
        during the Company's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy process until a successor
        can be named.
        


CONTACT:  Investor Relations of Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc.,
        708-462-6100



Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc. Reports First Quarter Results and Announces Interim Financing Arrangements


        


            CAROL STREAM, IL  --  Aug. 16, 1996  --  Ben Franklin Retail
        Stores, Inc.
(Nasdaq: BFRS) today reported a net loss of $11.4
        million, or $2.08 per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 1997 as
        compared with a net loss of $1.5 million or $.28 per share for the
        same period of the prior year.
        


            Ben Franklin had announced on July 26, 1996, that the Company
        had filed a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the
        United States Bankruptcy Code.  At the time the Company said it
        planned to sell or close its 33 Company-owned craft superstores and
        focus on its core franchising and wholesaling business.
        


            Net sales for the fiscal 1997 first quarter (three months ended
        June 30, 1996) decreased by 48.0% to $46.5 million as compared with
        $89.3 million in the same period of the prior year.   The decrease
        was primarily due to the Company's shortage of liquidity which
        resulted in lower service levels and, consequently, lower sales
        volume in the Company's wholesale business and retail business.
        


            Cost of sales, buying, and occupancy expenses decreased by 43.7%
        to $45.2 million as compared with $80.3 million in the same period
        of the prior year.  As a percent of sales, however, these expenses
        have increased from 89.9% in the prior year to 97.3% in the current
        year.  This increase primarily reflects fixed buying and occupancy
        expenses on lower sales volumes.
        


            General and administrative expenses as a percent of sales have
        increased from 10.0% in the prior year to 19.0% in the current year.
        This increase primarily reflects fixed overhead expenses on lower
        sales volumes.
        


            Net interest expense increased $.8 million during the three
        months ended June 30, 1996 from the same period in the prior year
        due to increased borrowing on the Company's revolving credit
        facility.
        


            The Company is presently operating its business as a debtor-in-
        possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States
        Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois ("the
        Court").  The results for the first quarter ended June 30, 1996 do
        not include any adjustments that might be necessary to reflect the
        possible future effects on the recoverability and classification of
        assets or the amounts and classification of liabilities as a
        consequence of the bankruptcy proceedings and related uncertainties.
        The following subsidiaries of the Company were not included in the
        filing under Chapter 11, Ben Franklin Insurance Agency, Inc.;
        Belmont Insurance Co., Ltd.; and Auto Artistry, Inc.
        


            The Company separately announced that it has reached an
        agreement with its secured lenders to modify its existing interim
        debtor-in-possession financing by increasing the Company's permitted
        borrowings from $2.0 million to $4.5 million and extending the
        maturity date of such borrowings from August 25, 1996 to September
        15, 1996.  This modification was approved by the Court on August 15,
        1996.  In addition, the Company agreed with such lenders to an
        arrangement designed to fund the Company's operations, including
        inventory purchases, through December 31, 1996 through the use of
        the lenders' "cash collateral."  This arrangement is subject to the
        Court's further approval and a hearing on the matter has been
        scheduled for September 4, 1996. A copy of the proposed Court order
        concerning this arrangement is on file with, and is available from,
        the Court.
        


            Ben Franklin Retail Stores is a franchisor to more than 300
        craft stores, including craft superstores, and more than 500 variety
        stores, and wholesaler to holders of more than 700 merchandise
        agreements throughout the United States and internationally.  The
        Company is headquartered in Carol Stream, Illinois.
        



               BEN FRANKLIN RETAIL STORES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                 CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS
                       AND SUMMARIZED BALANCE SHEET DATA
                   (In thousands, except per share amounts)
                                 (Unaudited)
        
                                                            THREE MONTHS ENDED
                                                                  JUNE 30,
                                                             1996         1995
        NET SALES                                          $46,473      $89,337
        OPERATING COSTS
          Cost of Sales, Buying and Occupancy               45,233       80,279
          General and Administrative Expenses                8,851        8,920
          Depreciation and Amortization                      1,856        1,128
            Total Operating Expenses                        55,940       90,327
        OPERATING LOSS                                      (9,467)        (990)
        INTEREST EXPENSE - NET                               2,098        1,328
        OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE)                                 194          (29)
        LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES                           (11,371)      (2,347)
          Income Tax Benefit                                    --          806
        NET LOSS                                          $(11,371)     $(1,541)
        EARNINGS PER COMMON AND
          COMMON EQUIVALENT SHARES:
        Net Loss
        -- Primary                                          $(2.08)       $(.28)
        -- Fully Diluted                                       N/A          N/A
        Average Number of Common and
          Common Equivalent Shares Outstanding
          -- Primary                                         5,463        5,582
          -- Fully Diluted                                     N/A          N/A
        
                   BEN FRANKLIN RETAIL STORES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                    CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS
                            AND SUMMARIZED BALANCE SHEET DATA
                          (In thousands, except per share amounts)
        
                                                                June 30,
        March 31,
        
                                                             1996          1996
                                                          (Unaudited)
        ASSETS
        
        CURRENT ASSETS
          Cash and Cash Equivalents                        $10,314        $6,952
          Short Term Investments                               532         1,337
          Receivables - Net                                 57,598        63,746
          Inventories                                       45,103        53,309
          Current Deferred Tax Asset                         2,718         2,718
          Prepaid Expenses                                   4,731         4,872
            TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS                           120,996       132,934
        
        PROPERTIES AND EQUIPMENT
          Gross Property and Equipment                      56,053        57,284
          Less:  Allowance for Depreciation and
            Amortization                                    20,367        19,318
          Net Properties and Equipment                      35,686        37,966
        Intangibles, net of amortization                     5,057         5,731
        DEFERRED TAX ASSET, NET OF VALUATION ALLOWANCE      18,771        18,755
        OTHER ASSETS                                        10,033         9,842
            TOTAL ASSETS                                  $190,543      $205,228
        
        LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
        
        CURRENT LIABILITIES
          Accounts Payable                                 $45,402       $53,098
          Other Current Liabilities                         14,376        16,232
            TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES                       59,778        69,330
        
        CONVERTIBLE SUBORDINATED NOTES                      28,750        28,750
        OTHER LONG-TERM DEBT                                72,230        65,851
        OTHER LONG-TERM LIABILITIES                          8,772         8,889
        STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
          Preferred Stock, $.01 Par Value;
            1,000,000 authorized; none issued                   --            --
          Common Stock, $.01 Par Value;
            15,000,000 shares authorized;
            5,462,750 shares issued                             55            55
          Capital in Excess of Par Value                    49,288        49,288
          Net Unrealized Holding Loss
                on Marketable Securities                          (125)
        (101)
        
              Retained Earnings                                (28,020)
        (16,649)
        
              Treasury Stock                                      (185)
        (185)
        
          Total Stockholders' Equity                        21,013        32,408
            TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY    $190,543      $205,228


CONTACT:  Investor Relations of Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc.,
        708-462-6100