Baseball91's Weblog

July 1, 2008

Star Tribune Now in Default

Filed under: Business,Current Affairs,Media,newspapers,on politics — baseball91 @ 4:58 PM
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Views from a city with a newspaper that is failing.  There was a price we pay for inattention.  Waking up and realizing the morning bird call was gone.  I was in a place where there was too much insouciance.  Not caring about the loss of a species, not caring about the losses, not caring about the suffering of other men.  Not thinking about the source of food, the resources, the water, the work of creation.  We were numb.  Living pre-recorded lives, listening to pre-recorded music day after day.  The birds’ flyway connects us as the mortar to South America.  To markets.  To families here among us.  To animals.  To the land. 

While humankind in the north was changing the land, sub-diving it, breaking it apart,the birds kept going south each winter.  When the river began in your backyard and went for more than one thousand miles, when it went into the sea, you thought differently.  You sensed an impact you had on everyone downstream.  It was not just arrogance.  But now we were breaking apart, like the land, like our bridges.  In Minneapolis.

July 1, 2008

NEW YORK The owners of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis have opted not to pay interest on the paper’s second-tier debt.

Neal St. Anthony reported. in the Star Tribune that Avista Capital Partners declined to make a quarterly interest payment on $96 million in debt, which is now in default. Instead the company wants to work out a restructuring plan with The Blackstone Group. Avista retained the financial advisors in May.

Chris Harte, CEO of the Star Tribune, told St. Anthony, “If we can restructure this debt, we still have a very viable [business].”

Avista paid the interest payment on its senior debt of $400 million.

Harte said that EBITDA is “down dramatically” and that the newspaper has not be able to cut operating costs fast enough. The plan is restructure the debt with senior creditors.

St. Anthony reported that Avista’s senior debt has traded among banks for as little as 56 cents on the dollar and the second-tier debt has traded for as little as a 10 cents on the dollar.




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