Saturday, February 21, 2009

Journal Register seeks bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Journal Register Co sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Saturday, making it the latest U.S. newspaper company to buckle under deteriorating advertising revenue and debt that it cannot easily repay.

The company publishes 20 daily newspapers, including The New Haven Register and The Trentonian. It joins the ranks of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, as well as Tribune Co, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, and highlights the challenges U.S. newspapers face as advertisers flee their print editions and more people get their news for free online.

For years, Journal Register has been among the smallest of publicly traded U.S. newspaper publishers. Nevertheless, its filing will increase scrutiny on other U.S. newspaper publishers, including McClatchy Co and Lee Enterprises, which are trying to survive a severe ad downturn without running afoul of their creditors.

Journal Register has already agreed with key creditors on a pre-negotiated reorganization plan, and said it was planning to restructure its operations.

The case is In re: Journal Register Co., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-10769.http://uk.reuters.com/article/burningIssues/idUKTRE51K20520090222

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