Hearst Corp., the owner of magazines and newspapers, has at least $400 million in equity and debt tied to MediaNews, and the investment will be wiped out by the bankruptcy filing, according to people familiar with the matter. A Hearst spokesman declined to comment.
Plenty of fans of my former employer, the Rocky Mountain News, were steamed that E.W. Scripps Co., the paper's owner, didn't try to outlast Media News — which was in deeper financial distress than Scripps — and instead closed the Rocky last year.
By all accounts, however, Scripps had no interest in fighting to keep open any of its major metro dailies. And it didn't want to hemorrhage millions of additional dollars waiting to see if Media News could hang on.
The Journal says Media News' dailies may not be affected by the filing, but you have to wonder how long its publications can avoid layoffs.