Monday, December 8, 2008

Anchorage Daily News shutters Juneau bureau as parent company flounders

Harold Meyerson writes:

As its parent company struggles to stay afloat, the Anchorage Daily News is shutting down its Juneau bureau and again scaling back its print version, managers told employees last week. The cutbacks come on top of dozens of layoffs, wage freezes and other attempts this year to trim expenses, such as reducing reimbursements on cell phone charges to reporters.

McClatchy Co, the owner of the Anchorage Daily News, is suffering from a mountain of debt and a weak stock price. The company is now looking to sell one of its prized assets, The Miami Herald, according to The New York Times.

“The bid to sell The Herald continues the fallout from McClatchy's $4.5 billion purchase in 2006 of Knight Ridder, the newspaper chain that had owned the Miami paper,” according to The Times article. “Largely as a result of that deal, one of the biggest in the industry’s history, the company has about $2 billion in debt, payments on which eat up much of its cash flow.”

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