OLD Media Moves

MediaNews papers bury Ch. 11 news

January 23, 2010

Sam Chapman and Jay Thorwaldson of Palo Alto Online note that the coverage of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection filing by newspaper owner MediaNews was buried by its newspapers.

Chapman and Thorwaldson write, “Subscribers of the 54 daily newspapers owned by Denver-based and privately held MediaNews had to read their Saturday papers very closely to even notice the announcement, much less understand its significance. Buried in the business section, the Mercury News’ headline was, ‘Mercury News parent swaps debt for equity.’

“The story read more like a routine business restructuring than the unprecedented shift in ownership to lenders that are owed almost a billion dollars.

“‘It gives us breathing space to create a new model for the newspapers we publish,’ the story quoted MediaNews Chairman and CEO Dean Singleton, also the founder and — until now — major shareholder.

“And while the ‘pre-packaged’ bankruptcy keeps him at the helm and offers him and other managers up to a 20 percent ownership interest, Singleton and business partner Richard Scudder will lose the company they started in 1985 and built into the second largest newspaper chain in the nation.”

Read more here.

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