The recession is obvious at newspapers these days, with most reducing space for news coverage (in part because they are getting fewer ads) and sending reporters and other staff on furloughs. Local publishers have been making the case that they will survive the recession by tightening their belts and promoting their products. (WFPL aired a story this week with their arguments and The Courier-Journal’s publisher laid out his views in Sunday’s newspaper.) So, far no local newspapers are facing bankruptcy, unlike many others throughout the country.
Many executives of papers that are facing Chapter 11 are interviewed in this month’s issue of Editor & Publisher, a journalism trade magazine. The special report provides a view into why certain newspaper publishers are in trouble and, in a very interesting turn, looks on the “bright side” of bankruptcy. While banruptcy can devinitly cause havoc, it forces newspapers to balance debt and revenue so that they have a chance at survival. One publisher named in the piece is The McClatchy Co. It’s a chain that owns The Lexington Herald Leader. One analyst quoted in the piece says McClatchy could go into bankruptcy because of its high debt and anticipated continued decline of revenues.