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Sun-Times Media Group bankruptcy

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pendleton, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Pendleton

    Pendleton Member

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Sun-Times Media Group, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and dozens of suburban newspapers, says it has filed for bankruptcy, making it the fifth newspaper publisher in recent months to seek protection from creditors.
    The company said it filed for Chapter 11 protection in a Delaware court Tuesday. It will continue to operate its newspapers and online properties.
    It retained Rothschild Inc. to help with a possible sale of assets.
    “We firmly believe that filing for Chapter 11 protection and exploring the potential sale of assets or new investment in the company offers us the best opportunity to protect our respected media properties for the long-term,” Jeremy Halbreich, the company’s interim chief executive, said in a statement.
  2. I fear I already know the answer, but what happens if you're owed money for a freelance assignment with a paper and its parent company files for bankruptcy?
  3. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    Don't spend it before you see it....
  4. Drip

    Drip Active Member

  5. So ... how quickly will they attempt to use this to bust the union? Tomorrow? Thursday? ::)
  6. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Sad to think Chicago can't support two newspapers.

    Sad if the last one standing ends up a shell of itself.

    Sad, period.
  7. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I think the union is now on the clock. If Chitown supports the shellk that may remain, what does that say about our industry?
  8. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Never expect to see that check pop into your mail box. If it does, look at it like free money that's dropped out of the sky.
  9. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    The Sun-Times filing is less about not supporting two newspapers than it is about how much Conrad Black fucked that company. I mean, the papers' revenues are on the decline, but the S-T has had to pay into the seven figures (I believe) to settle lawsuits related to Black, had to spend all those millions on Black and his cronies, and courtesy of Black has a $600 million tax liability with the IRS.
  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    A member sent me the memo and I accidentally deleted it because I'm a dumbass. So, valued member, if you'd send again please ***
  11. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Here it is. And check out about EXPENSE REPORTS NOT BEING PAID. Is that even legal? Jeeeeeeeez. I want to bash my head in here.
    From The Pipeline:

    The highlights beyond the Chapter 11 filing include one-week furloughs and no severance or COBRA payments for those laid off. Later they were told there is likely to be more downsizing, and outstanding expense reports are not being paid.

    March 31, 2009

    To All Sun-Times Media Group Employees:

    I have some important news to share with you. Today, Sun-Times Media Group, Inc. and certain of its affiliates voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This action begins a legal and financial process that is designed to protect our Company’s brands and create a more stable future for our news organizations, advertisers, readers, and you, our employees.

    Please note, this action does NOT mean the Company or any of our newspapers or online sites are going out of business. And, it will not impact our day-to-day operations or affect the quality of any of our publications. We will continue to operate business as usual during this process and to publish our newspaper titles and operate our online sites.

    As you are all well aware, we have been operating in an incredibly challenging environment – the significant downturn in the print advertising environment that has affected newspapers across the country has continued to severely impact us as well. And, despite steps to reduce costs and strengthen our organization, the current operating realities as well as certain legacy issues led us to today’s decision. Importantly, Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection provides us the best opportunity to resolve some of our legacy financial issues, stabilize operations, and further reduce costs. At the same time, we are pursuing a process to explore strategic options such as the sale of assets or potential investment in the Company. We firmly believe that this decision offers us the best path forward to ensure that our publications can continue to serve their communities and the millions of readers and advertisers in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana who rely on us each and every day.

    Consistent with our need to further reduce costs in response to declining advertising revenue, we are taking additional actions, including the following:

    • We will no longer pay severance to employees or provide Company-subsidized COBRA benefits to employees whose employment with the Company is terminated. This applies to all non-union represented employees, including members of the executive team, effective immediately. Former employees who wish to receive COBRA medical benefits must pay the full insurance premium costs and administrative costs required by COBRA.

    • We are instituting a furlough program for all non-union employees, including the management team. Affected employees will be required to take one week of unpaid leave some time during the months of April or May. To ensure that there are no disruptions to our operations, employees will need to coordinate the scheduling of their one-week time off with their supervisor [and HR representative]. Further details will be provided to you shortly.

    We will seek similar sacrifices regarding severance and furloughs from our union-represented colleagues.

    We know how hard you have worked throughout this challenging period to continue delivering the kind of high quality service that has made our publications and interactive products recognized leaders in their respective markets. We are taking these actions only after thoroughly reviewing all possible alternatives. Going forward, it is important that we maintain the integrity and high levels of professionalism that each of you has demonstrated over the years. Our products are the heart and soul of the Chicago area, and your commitment to our readers, advertisers and the communities we serve is what made this Company an industry leader. Even in difficult times, we cannot lose sight of our purpose and mission.

    Town Hall Meeting/Additional Information

    Please join me today for an all employee meeting and conference call, which will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. (Central Daylight Time). Those of you at the Orleans location can join us at the Holiday Inn Sauganash Ballroom on the 14th floor of the Apparel Center. Please bring your Company I.D., as this meeting is for employees only. For those of you at other locations, you will be able to listen to the meeting by calling (888) 450-4845, access code 656634. You can also view slides for the presentation on our Intranet site, http://fyi.

    Over the next few days, I will be traveling to locations throughout the Company to meet directly with as many employees as possible. In the meantime, I encourage you to review the information related to today’s announcement that we have posted on http://fyi and on Sun Times Media Group’s Web site at www.thesuntimesgroup.com – click on the “Chapter 11 Information” link.

    We are committed to keeping you updated as we move through the bankruptcy process, but should you have any additional questions, you can email them to questions@suntimes.com and we will do our best to post answers on http://fyi.

    Finally, as you can expect, these announcements are likely to generate considerable attention from the media. If you should get contacted by the media, please direct those calls to Tammy Chase at (312) 321-3230. Other persons requesting information should be directed to the “Chapter 11 Information” link at www.thesuntimesgroup.com.

    We anticipate moving through the process quickly and expect it to be completed in 2009. Again, thank you again for your continued commitment to Sun-Times Media Group, our readers, advertisers and the communities we serve.


    Jeremy L. Halbreich
    Chairman of the Board
    Interim Chief Executive Officer
  12. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    And to think there were once three great papers in Chicago.

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