The Journal Register Co., owner of 20 daily newspapers, filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors, the third publisher to do so since December. The company blamed a slump in advertising, dpa reported.
The publisher of the New Haven Register said in court papers that it has come to an agreement to cut debt with its lenders as part of a negotiated reorganization plan. It listed debt of as much as $1 billion and assets of between $100 million and $500 million in Chapter 11 documents filed this morning in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.
The Journal Register follows the Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune into bankruptcy. The collapse of the U.S. newspaper industry has accelerated as publishers struggled to compete with online search engines just as the weak economy hurt advertising sales and subscriptions.
"With the increased competition from other forms of media and slumping advertising revenues, the downward pressure on newspaper earnings will likely remain intense in the near term," company Chief Executive Officer James Hall said in court papers.
Since 2006, the Yardley, Pennsylvania-based company's revenues have dropped by more than 20 percent, Hall said.
The Journal Register employs about 3,500 people and also owns 159 non-daily newspapers.
The company operates primarily in the Philadelphia and Cleveland areas, as well as throughout Michigan. Its newspapers include the Delaware County Times and the Trentonian near Philadelphia, the Oakland Press in Michigan and the News-Herald outside of Cleveland.
The case is In re Journal Register Co. 09-10769 U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).