From Evan Johnson
Media conglomerate owner Singleton has steadfastly maintained his company is financially sound and honoring its financial commitments.
Media company announces employee benefit cuts
Written by Elizabeth Larson
Wednesday, 31 December 2008
LAKEPORT – The parent company of the Lake County Record-Bee [Ukiah Daily Journal, et. al.] gave employees some not-very-happy holiday news this week, telling them that the company is cutting its matching contributions to the 401(k) retirement plan.
Moody’s Investors Services downgraded nearly all of the company’s $1 billion in debt further into junk status, reaching a non-investment grade rating of “Caa3,” which according to an Associated Press report is the third-lowest rating on Moody’s scale.
Moody had previously downgraded MediaNews’ debt in May. Three months later, the company sold its Connecticut newspaper holdings, including the Connecticut Post and seven non-daily newspapers, to Hearst Corp.
The rating downgrades are based on Moody’s lowered opinion of the company’s ability to meet its financial obligations after a 16-percent decline in revenue for the third quarter, and concerns over a revolving $175 million credit facility that comes due in December 2009, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press noted that the downgrade also has the impact of making it harder for MediaNews to find new financing because of default concerns.
[Let’s get these local newspapers back into local, independent ownership. The $800,000 that leaves our county every year from the UDJ to parts known (Asia) and unknown, would be better used circulating in our community. Also, rumors of The Bullhorn resurrection are encouraging. Go for it, Laura and Sid! -DS]