It was a thriving family business that kicked of in 1857 as a four-page newspaper for residents of Sacramento in the wake of the gold rush. Now the PC patchy Company, the publisher of The Sacramento Bee, The Miami Herald and 28 other dailies across the country, has filed for bankruptcy and is expected to be run by a New York hedge fund.
In a Chapter 11 filing in New York on Thursday, McClatchy, one of the largest news publishers in the United States, said it planned to restructure its pension obligations and address more than $700 million in debt. Its newsrooms in 14 states would continue operating as usual during bankruptcy proceedings, the company said.
Under the plan, the hedge fund Chatham Asset Management, a major lender and shareholder for the chain, would operate McClatchy as a private company. McClatchy went public in 1988.
If the Chapter 11 plan gains court approval, McClatchy would become the latest newspaper company to fall under the control of Wall Street investors, an unlikely relationship that has become more common as the financial industry seeks to wring profits from an ailing business.
Craig Forman, the president and chief executive of McClatchy, said in a statement that the company’s reorganization plan would allow it to continue to “produce strong local journalism essential to the communities we serve.