Thursday, January 21, 2010

So which MediaNews paper is losing money?

One of the eyebrow-raising claims in MediaNews Group CEO Dean Singleton's memo to his employees about his Chapter 11 filing was that all but one of his chain's 54 papers was profitable. If you've got $930 million in debt, how could you say any of your papers were profitable? But we think we know what he means, that if you don't include debt, 53 of the chain's 54 papers would be making money. So which one is losing money by that standard? The St. Paul Pioneer Press, which Singleton bought in 2006 in a deal that included the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Monterey Herald. A media blog in Minneapolis quotes Marshall Anstandig, a MediaNews labor lawyer, as saying the Pioneer Press lost money in the last three years. The paper is losing money even though it has apparently increased its revenues and paid circulation.

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