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July 27, 2008 / Toby Dayton

Journal Register Delays Debt Payments

While the Minneapolis Star Tribune continues to negotiate with its debt holders about delaying its debt payments in an effort to remain solvent, the Journal Register reached agreement with its banks to delay debt payments until November. At the end of the first quarter, the Journal Register had $640 million in debt on its balance sheet and only $16 million in cash. Standard & Poor’s cut the Journal Register’s credit rating to ‘D’ and the analyst stated that a bankruptcy filing could be the company’s next step. The Journal Register owns 22 daily newspapers, the biggest of which is the New Haven Register, and 300 non-daily publications. While I don’t think that New Haven would qualify in my 2008 prediction about a major metro market losing its daily this year, it’s pretty close. And in any event, 22 communities are likely to lose their daily newspaper in the very near future.