2 months, 1 week ago bizjournals.com
Company owns the Hannibal Courier-Post, owns 14 daily newspapers in Missouri and 21 in Illinois
GateHouse Media Inc., which owns 14 daily newspapers in Missouri and 21 in Illinois, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The Missouri newspapers include the Hannibal Courier-Post, the Kirksville Daily Express and the Springfield Journal-Register.
Michael Reed, CEO of Perinton, N.Y.-based GateHouse, told employees in a memo published by Jim Romenesko that “with the challenges facing our industry and the impending maturity of our secured debt next year, we needed to be proactive in exploring options to restructure our debt, recapitalize and position ourselves for future growth... We don’t believe you will notice any change in day-to-day operations.”
GateHouse said it has entered into a plan support agreement, according to the Wall Street Journal. The plan would restructure about $1.2 billion in debt scheduled to come due in August 2014, according to the Journal.
Publisher Michael Petrak said the bankruptcy filing would not affect local employees or day-to-day operations.
Pension, trade and all other unsecured creditors of GateHouse would not be affected under the plan. GateHouse’s common stock would be canceled under the plan, and holders of secured debt would have the option of receiving a cash distribution of 40 percent of their claims or stock in New Media Investment Group Inc., a new holding company that will own GateHouse and Local Media Group.
GateHouse, which operates in 330 markets across 21 states, is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of daily publications.
The company said it intends to continue day-to-day operations under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court. According to Reed, GateHouse has sufficient cash to operate during the Chapter 11 process and does not need debtor-in-possession financing.