Journal Register Company seeks bankruptcy protection again in efforts to reduce costs through selling company assets. The company is parent to 18 newspapers with media properties throughout 10 states. The filing is the second time around for the company, even though it just exited bankruptcy in 2009.
The Chapter 11 bankruptcy will help the company reorganize debt obligations while still continuing daily operations. The Journal Register, which includes Connecticut’s the New Haven Register and Pontiac, Michigan’s Oakland Press newspapers claims they hope bankruptcy proceedings can reduce costs of outstanding liabilities including a number of legacy costs.
The company claims they have seen an increase in digital readers in recent years but it hasn’t been enough to overcome rising debt amounts. The company claims print advertising continues to decline while struggling with lease and pension costs. It’s been estimated the company’s liabilities has almost doubled by 52 percent since exiting bankruptcy in 2009. When the Journal Register filed 3 years ago it had liabilities over $600 million owed to secured lenders. The filing at the time helped reduce liabilities to just over $200 million.
The restructuring process completed in 2009 helped reorganize legacy costs including leases, pensions and other liabilities. But a recent statement released by the company claims current financial troubles are creating more struggles for the digital transformation the company is working towards. Between 2009 and 2011, the Journal Register claims a 235 percent increase in digital revenue. The company claims they acquired more digital expenses by 151 percent since 2009 with outstanding debt in excess of $160 million.