McClatchy files for bankruptcy

McClatchy, the parent company of The Kansas City Star, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The filing was made Feb. 13 in federal bankruptcy court in New York, according to documents online at https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1056087/000105608720000005/mni-20200212x8k.htm.

McClatchy, which operates 30 media companies nationwide, plans to reorganize and has secured $50 million in debtor-in-possession financing, according to the bankruptcy filing.

Besides the Star, it publishes newspapers including the Miami Herald, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Charlotte Observer, Sacramento Bee, and the (Raleigh) News and Observer. The newsrooms are operating as usual, according to the company. The company reported in its filings that it has increased its digital-only subscriptions. Print subscriptions continue to decline.

The company reported in filings with the SEC that it has been in negotiations to restructure its debt. The company also reported in SEC filings it would ask the court to terminate its qualified pension plan and appoint the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) as the plan’s trustee. No adverse effects to pension recipients were expected, according to the filing.

According to a filing with the SEC, the company did not yet have figures for the fourth quarter of 2019 but expected total revenues to be $183.9 million, down 14 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. Revenues for all of 2019 were expected to be down 12 percent from 2018.

McClatchey has reported more than $600 million in debt, and some insights into the company’s situation can be found in a blog by Jim Fitzpatrick, a former Kansas City Star employee, at https://jimmycsays.com/.

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