Date

Fri - 22.09.2017


bankruptcy

Creditors have accused the Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News' current investor group of using the paper's Web site and company Web site, philly.com, to "demonize" outside bidders before the company is set to be auctioned off in October, KYW1060.com reported Wednesday.

Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Raslavitch said the accusations are weak, while the company's lawyer said the "Keep It Local" campaign is a matter of freedom of speech, protected by the First Amendment in the United States.

A local investment group, which supports the newspaper's chief executive, Brian Tierney, is hoping to win the company at the auction. Raslavitch said the group should pay for the campaign, but Tierney said it is done at no cost, calling them house ads.

Legal council representing both sides on Wednesday agreed to not have a hearing, and instead discuss other issues, the Inquirer reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-11 00:01

U.S. newspaper publisher Freedom Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, reducing its debt to US$325 million from $770 million AFP reported.

The publisher owns 30 newspapers, including the Orange County Register, in California.

Tuesday's filing was done in agreement with creditors, which include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Union Bank of California and SunTrust Banks, according to AFP. After restructuring, the Register and Hoiles family, along with two private equity firms, will retain 2 percent equity interest in the company, while lenders will be given control.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-01 15:46

Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, the publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, filed a US$92 million reorganisation plan, which aims to keep the newspapers in local ownership and pull the company out of bankruptcy, Reuters reported Friday.

The plan will see a group of local investors fund the reorganisation, which was filed with the federal bankruptcy court in Philadelphia Thursday. The group, led by local real estate executive Bruce Toll, has proffered $52 million, which includes $35 million in new equity and the balance in credit, to the struggling media company.

Other investors include the Carpenters' Union Pension Fund and Penn Matrix Investments.

The plan provides creditors around $67 million in cash and Philadelphia real estate, which includes the newspapers offices. The cash makes up $37 million worth of the debt payment and the real estate forming $29 million. The rest of the $92 million filling concerns the internal costs of extracting the company from bankruptcy.

If approved by the court, the plan would remove nearly $300 million in debt.

Philadelphia Newspapers LLC sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, sighting a dramatic fall in revenue, the economic environment and the company's debt structure.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-08-21 16:14

Reader's Digest, a magazine most Americans could always find in the homes of their parents and grandparents, plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the next 30 days for its operations in the United States, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The reason for the filing stems from the $2.8 billion worth of debt Ripplewood Holdings took on when it bought shares from the Digest's old shareholders. As of 2009, Ripplewood is still $2.2 billion in debt.

The 87-year-old publication "was the original aggregator, the first blog, the pioneer of short-attention-span reading," the Post's Paul Farhi writes. It will continue to be published, but as a "wounded bird."

Ripplewood, which also publishes titles such as Every Day With Rachel Ray and the Web site Allrecipes.com, did not make an interest payment of $27 million, which was due Monday. It will talk with lenders during its 30-day grace period about a prearranged bankruptcy filing, according to The New York Times.

"Restructuring our debt will enable us to have the financial flexibility to move ahead with our growth and transformational initiatives," Mary Berner, the company's CEO, said in a statement. The publication's executives plan to come out of bankruptcy with a debt load of $550 million.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-08-18 18:09

A bankruptcy court judge has accepted the Minneapolis Star Tribune's reorganisation plan, which could enable the paper to be independent of chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within the next few months, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal reported.

The plan remains to be approved by creditors who will vote on whether or not to accept the proposed reorganisation that would give more than 95 percent of the company's stake to an investment group.

The newspaper is also expected to install a new board of directors and name a new publisher by the end of August.

The project should allow the paper to leave behind chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, taking a $100 million in debt with it.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-07-31 16:19

In a Nieman Journalism Lab article, Martin Langeveld recently addressed the changing business model of newspapers, and the role that a "restructuring event," or bankruptcy, plays in the transition from the old model to a new one.

Langeveld cites characteristics of a successful business plan for the modern newspaper, such as reduced printing and delivery schedules, and posits that such downsizing and cuts cannot "carry the company's legacy debt load," and thus require chapter 11 to allow for the necessary reorganisation of the paper.

Langeveld views bankruptcy in a different light. According to Langeveld, filing for chapter 11 "may be closer to sustainable business models than those who are still paying their bankers."

Recently, several major newspaper firms have been reported to be near defaulting on their loans. Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, has been lowered to junk-bond status by credit raters while Tribune Co. is filing for bankruptcy and McClatchy's failure to exchange enough debt has left them in default.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-07-02 20:49

After going bankrupt early this year, Minnesota's Star Tribune Co. is now seeking protection under Chapter 11 and proposing a plan to reorganise and cut costs, the Associated Press reported.

Negotiations that have taken place since the Star Tribune declared bankruptcy in January resulted in agreements with 94 percent of the company's unionised employees, the agreed upon plans will lead to reducing staff costs by $20 million per year.

Chris Harte, publisher and chairman of the Star Tribune Co., seems sure that the cuts will be enough to allow the newspaper bounce back and be prepared for the "intense competition that lies ahead".

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-06-19 09:37

Ion Media Networks has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York, after reaching a debt restructuring agreement with its creditors, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The company has arranged for the conversion of all its debt to equity.

The Florida-based television group's filling revealed debt of more than US$1 billion and assets of $10 million.

The agreement freed $2.7 billion worth of debt and preferred stock from a group bearing more than 60 percent of Ion's debt, on a promise to restructure the obligation. Ion will receive a further $150 million from a primary group of secured debt holders, Bloomberg reported.

"We look forward to working with all senior debt holders and other stakeholders to facilitate a complete and expeditious restructuring," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brandon Burgess said in the statement. "We are positioning the business for growth and will emerge from the restructuring in a strong position to serve viewers, clients, and stakeholders."

More than 100 subsidiaries simultaneously filed for bankruptcy protection.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-20 08:35

The Journal Register Co. has appealed to U.S. bankruptcy court for permission to cut ties with unions representing 220 of its employees, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The publisher seeks to eliminate various pension obligations and impose a 15 percent salary decrease on employees belonging to the unions in question. Papers filed by the company with the bankruptcy court state the moves are necessary to reach a projected $2.6 million in savings through labour cutbacks. Employees at the company's Detroit papers may also have certain policies, such as overtime pay, called into question.

The cost-cutting measures are integral in the company's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; if they do not take place, creditors may not be supportive of the bankruptcy plan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The proposal comes as no surprise to union president Dave DeLong, who pointed out that the company had warned of this possibility in February.

Before filing Chapter 11 in late February, the Journal Register had already imposed cost cuts and eliminated almost a third of its staff in the three years leading up to the filing, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-14 09:31

American Community Newspapers, publisher of smaller newspapers across four U.S. markets including the Still Water Gazette in Minneapolis and Plano Star Courier in Texas, announced on Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Editor & Publisher reported Wednesday.

"While we have proactively managed our business by right sizing our cost structure and driving efficiencies to maximizing our cash flows, our operations are not able to support our current capital structure," Chairman and CEO Gene Carr said in a prepared statement.

The filing lists assets valued between US$50 million to $100 million with debt at around $107 million. Last Autumn ACN was delisted from the American Stock Exchange after its stock sat at only 1 cent per share, E&P reported.

ACN publishes 86 newspapers in Dallas, Minneapolis, Columbus, Ohio and Northern Virginia areas, according to an Associated Press article Wednesday.

ACN said its secured creditors would provide a $5 million debtor in possession creditor facility. The creditors are the "contemplated stalking horse bidder for ACN's assets," ACN stated. With this lending support, ACN will attempt to reorganise its debt under the 363 sale process, freeing its newspapers and other properties from debt, E&P reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-04-30 12:31

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