Monday, June 15, 2009

Columbian talking with its creditors; Debt restructuring plan due to bankruptcy court July 1

The Columbian daily newspaper is delivered throughout Southwest Washington as far north as Woodland and east into the Columbia River Gorge. The company employs 260 full- and part-time workers and generates an annual payroll of $10.5 million, not including benefits.

At its May 1 filing, the publishing company in court records reported 2007 gross revenue of $33.2 million; 2008 revenue of $29.7 million and $6.13 million in the first four months of this year through April 30.

"What we've experienced is 10 to 15 times worse than anything we anticipated in advertising revenue declines," said Campbell, whose family has owned the newspaper since 1921. "In two years, we've seen a 40 percent ad sales decline. To cut costs, we've gone through three rounds of layoffs, frozen pay, reduced production costs, pared back (newspaper) content and moved out of our new office building back to our old building on West Eighth Street."

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