As if the media business needed any more bad news, this week the Journal Resister Company — the national parent of a handful of mid-market newspapers, including the Lorain Morning Journal and Willoughby News-Herald — announced they were seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But piggybacking off that bad news was a silver lining of sorts: Digital First Media, JRC's owner, says it's close to a possible sale.
The company says this won't impact the day-to-day at the publications, but obviously that's some corporate-speak bull, especially considering the company's recent history.
This latest bankruptcy comes only three years after JRC shouldered out of another restructuring with more than $225 million in debt, according to a blog post from the company's top man, John Paton.
Since taking the wheel after that initial bankruptcy, Paton has become a sort of corporate patron saint for the newspaper industry, an old school print guy who now evangelizes about ditching the dead tree emphasis for the web. Last November, the New York Times' David Carr profiled the guy, here summing up some of the executive's out-of-the-box ideas for shaking up the newsroom: