Blethen's Times Partner Close to Default


Trade journal Editor & Publisher reports that McClatchy Company, which owns 49.5 percent of Frank Blethen's Seattle Times, is in serious trouble. McClatchy, which previously bought the stake from dying media titan Knight-Ridder, was cited along with other troubled newspaper concerns by a credit rating firm. Says E&P:

"Fitch rates the debt of two newspaper companies, The McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co. as junk, with serious possibilities of default. It also assigns a negative outlook to both the companies and the newspaper sector, meaning their credit ratings are likely to deteriorate further."
As we're reported earlier, the lower McClatchy sinks, including the value of its Times investment, the lower the buy-back price for Blethen. All newspapers are in trouble, of course, owing to declining ad revenues (thank you, Internets) and our worsening recession. But if Blethen could scrounge up some loose change from the seat cushions of his couch, McClatchy might be desperate enough to sell.

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