Rumors of a Yahoo management reshuffling, two newspaper publisher bankruptcies and a bit of PR unsavvy on Microsoft’s part do not make for a quiet weekend. Although not exactly high-octane breaking news, the stuff kept happening in dribs and drabs throughout the weekend, leading me to update my Facebook status thus: “Anupreeta would have liked at least 30 percent more weekend.” But so it goes.
I ran a story on New Year’s Eve about the opportunities and perils that could face struggling newspapers if they end up surviving because of government help. I opened the story with the tale of Connecticut state lawmakers and a state commissioner who are trying to find someone to buy two Journal Register-owned dailies and several weeklies that are going to be shut down in January if they can’t be saved. From there, I explored the ramifications of government aid to newspapers.
I was reading a Forbes article about the distressing state of some of the worse-off U.S. newspaper publishers and how their debt threatens to send them into default, or worse yet, maybe out of business. That’s when I came across this distressing nugget:
We’ve written a lot lately about tiny Journal Register Co , the newspaper publisher that’s exploring its options — another way of saying that its survival is on the line. Among them is getting its lenders to restructure its debt so it won’t have to declare default. Another, which would depend on that, is taking $25 million from an Ohio-based investment firm and selling off a bunch of its failing newspapers.