Local News in Crisis as McClatchy Newspapers File for Bankruptcy


Topline: McClatchy Co., America’s second-largest newspaper chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday amid mounting debt obligations and a dramatic loss of print revenue, a development seen as the continuance of the country’s news crisis.

  • McClatchy’s 30 mastheads will continue to operate normally, according to the Washington Post, with the company taking on an additional $50 million in financing from Encina Business Credit.
  • McClatchy’s stock will be delisted soon, and if approved by the court, control of the company will be given to Chatham Asset Management, a New Jersey hedge fund overseeing some $4.4 billion.
  • The company has long struggled with its pension obligations, which as of March 2019 was underfunded by $535 million.
  • McClatchy’s 2004 $4.5 billion acquisition of competitor Knight-Ridder increased the number of papers under its purview, but also saddled the company with an additional $2 billion of debt.
  • Over $700 million in debt will be reorganized during the bankruptcy process, according to the Post, with 60% planned for elimination.



    I have posted on FB several times that daily newspapers are failing all over the country. Up until a few years ago, newspapers were considered the #1 advertising medium in the country. That is long ago history. Today, most homeowners do not even subscribe to a daily newspaper. Most adults get their news and information from TV, radio and The Internet. It’s SAD, but Americans habits have changed. As daily newspaper subscribers have dropped sharply, revenues had plummeted. As revenues have dropped, daily newspapers have cut their staffs, greatly reducing local news coverage. It’s a vicious circle.

    Now, another newspaper giant has filed bankruptcy, McClatchy. They are a minority owner of The Seattle Times.


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