February 13, 2020

    ‘More than 2,000 newspapers ceased production in the last 15 years, according to a recent think-tank report from the Brookings Institution.’

    ‘The inflection point for McClatchy’s bankruptcy was the failure to get pension relief from Congress. A pension solution appeared hours away from a legislative agreement late last year, before falling victim to partisan politics.

    The likely new owners, if the court accepts the plan, would be led by hedge fund Chatham Asset Management LLC. They would operate McClatchy as a privately held company. More than 7 million shares of both publicly available and protected family-owned stock would be canceled.

    Chatham Asset Management, a $4.3 billion hedge fund, owns the National Enquirer.’

    Not only has the business model changed for newspapers, legacy companies carry large pension obligations that eat into cash flow and profits. McClatchy’s qualified pension covers more than 24,500 current and future retirees — many retired blue-collar workers who manned printing presses or loaded newspapers onto delivery trucks — supported by fewer than 2,800 active employees.

    Between 2006 and 2018, McClatchy’s advertising revenue fell by 80 percent and daily print circulation fell by 58.6 percent. While the company has worked over three years to achieve a more sustainable 50-50 split of print vs. digital advertising, those gains couldn’t outpace the approaching pension and debt obligations.’


    ‘McClatchy owns 30 newspapers in 14 states. The publisher’s origins date to 1857, when it began publishing a four-page paper in Sacramento, California, following the California Gold Rush. That paper became The Sacramento Bee. McClatchy’s headquarters remains in Sacramento.’ [AP]

    McClatchy Newspapers:



    • The Fresno Bee, Fresno
    • Merced Sun-Star, Merced
    • The Modesto Bee, Modesto
    • The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento
    • The Tribune, San Luis Obispo


    • Bradenton Herald, Bradenton
    • El Nuevo Herald, Miami
    • Miami Herald, Miami
    • Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus
    • The Telegraph, Macon


    • Idaho Statesman, Boise


    • Belleville News-Democrat, Belleville


    • The Wichita Eagle, Wichita


    • Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington


    • Sun Herald, Biloxi


    • The Kansas City Star, Kansas City


    • The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte
    • The Herald-Sun, Durham
    • The News & Observer, Raleigh


    • The Beaufort Gazette, Beaufort
    • The State, Columbia
    • The Island Packet, Hilton Head Island
    • The Sun News, Myrtle Beach
    • The Herald, Rock Hill


    • Centre Daily Times, State College


    • Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth


    • Bellingham Herald, Bellingham
    • Tri-City Herald, Kennewick
    • The Olympian, Olympia
    • The News Tribune, Tacoma

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