McClatchy, (The Bee’s) files for bankruptcy protection

This was expected.  The Sacramento, Modesto and Fresno Bee has gone bankrupt.  It is deeply in debt, losing subscribers as has most of the newspapers in the country.  We get our news from cable and the Internet.  But what is a surprise is the collapse of quick collapse of the dead tree industry.

“Independent newspapers and chains alike are struggling. The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation including both print and digital in 2018 fell 8% from the prior year to 28.6 million for weekday. Sunday circulation fell 9% to 30.8 million, according to the Pew Research Center for Journalism and Media.

Last year, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet bleakly predicted the demise of “most local newspapers in America” within five years, except for ones bought by billionaires. The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, both national publications, are thriving after being bought by billionaires. The Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal are among other major American newspapers that appear to have steadied themselves after being sold to local wealthy individuals.”

 The Washington Post is owned by the Trump/freedom hating Jeff Bezos.  The El Segundo Times (the former L.A. Times, is also owned by a billionaire—who has been meeting with Bloomberg.  Newspapers have become ideological, worse than ever.  Will anyone mist the Bee as it continues to falter and fall?  Seriously.

Photo courtesy taberandrew, flickr.

McClatchy, major local news publisher, files for bankruptcy protection

By MICHELLE CHAPMAN, Daily Breeze, 2/13/20  

The publisher of the Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee and dozens of other newspapers across the country is filing for bankruptcy protection.

McClatchy Co.’s 30 newsrooms, including  The Kansas City Star,  The Charlotte Observer, The News & Observer in Raleigh, and The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, will continue to operate as usual as the publisher reorganizes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The publisher’s origins date to 1857 when it first began publishing a four-page paper in Sacramento, California, following the California Gold Rush. That paper became the Bee.

McClatchy has received $50 million debtor-in-possession financing from Encina Business Credit. That, combined with normal operating cash flows, will provide enough cash for the company, still based in Sacramento, to continue to function.

“When local media suffers in the face of industry challenges, communities suffer: polarization grows, civic connections fray and borrowing costs rise for local governments,” said CEO Craig Forman. “We are moving with speed and focus to benefit all our stakeholders and our communities.”

McClatchy expects fourth-quarter revenues of $183.9 million, down 14% from a year earlier. Its 2019 revenue is anticipated to be down 12.1% from the previous year. That would mean that the publisher’s revenue will have slid for six consecutive years.

The company expects to pull its listing from the New York Stock Exchange as a publicly traded company, and go private.

McClatchy filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Its restructuring plan needs approval from its secured lenders, bondholders and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

McClatchy has suffered as readers give up traditional subscriptions and get news online and like other publishers, it’s tried to follow them there.

Digital-only subscriptions have increased by almost 50% year over year, McClatchy said, and subscriptions are now roughly evenly balanced between total audience and advertising revenues, with digital accounting for 40% of those revenues and growing. The company has more than 200,000 digital-only subscribers and over 500,000 paid digital customer relationships.

Independent newspapers and chains alike are struggling. The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation including both print and digital in 2018 fell 8% from the prior year to 28.6 million for weekday. Sunday circulation fell 9% to 30.8 million, according to the Pew Research Center for Journalism and Media.

Last year, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet bleakly predicted the demise of “most local newspapers in America” within five years, except for ones bought by billionaires. The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, both national publications, are thriving after being bought by billionaires. The Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal are among other major American newspapers that appear to have steadied themselves after being sold to local wealthy individuals.

“McClatchy remains a strong operating company with an enduring commitment to independent journalism that spans five generations of my family,” said Chairman Kevin McClatchy, the great-great grandson of the company founder, James McClatchy.

The company has also worked on its financials, trimming operating expenses by $186.9 million for the three-year period ended in December. It’s also paid off about $153.5 million in debt in the same period.

Forman said McClatchy doesn’t anticipate any adverse impact on qualified pension benefits for substantially all of the plan’s participants and beneficiaries.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Larry Bowler says

    “Up to here”, I stopped my life long subscription to the Sacramento Bee long ago. Fed up with it’s bias and left-falling Op-Eds. To many options to continuing their trash…

  2. New papers across America have become liberal brain washing instruments. Those that now are being bought by very wealthy people are enhancing that position. Most local newspapers get the majority of their material from major newspapers that provide a liberal slant to the news. The combined efforts of the TV, Radio, education institutions and Newspaper efforts to overwhelm people with a socialistic point of view is obvious. We are already seeing this in the control being used by big companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook and many others that point to their desire to dominate, for their benefit, the world economy. America is a thorn in that objective due to the Constitution which gives the people rights that almost no other country has – the “Last nation standing”. Good luck to those who will be guided into socialism – it will be a terrible time for the great majority of people,

  3. edward veek says

    Good riddance! The liberal rags should all be put out of business. When they only preach
    Liberal progressive lies & propaganda they deserve bankruptcy. Maybe a NEWS service that prints truth
    will replace them.

  4. John Steele says

    They’re also are going to default on the Pensions… Maybe if they ran real unbiased news, this wouldn’t have happened.

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