The owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News filed for bankruptcy amid declining advertising sales, more than 2 years after a buyout led by local businessman Brian Tierney, Bloomberg reported.
Philadelphia Newspapers LLC listed both assets and debt of as much as $500 million each in a Chapter 11 petition filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia. Seven other units also sought protection including Philadelphia Media, PMH Acquisition, Philly Online and PMH Holdings.
Philadelphia Newspapers, created in June 2006 when Tierney's group bought the titles from McClatchy Co. for $562 million, joins other U.S. publishers in bankruptcy as the economic crisis exacerbates declines in ad spending and readership. Journal Register Co., owner of 20 daily newspapers, sought protection yesterday, citing "slumping advertising revenues." Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune, sought protection Dec. 8, a year after being taken private by Sam Zell.
Tierney and his partners, including Bruce Toll, co-founder of homebuilder Toll Bros., had no experience running a newspaper before they bought it in May 2006. Tierney, an advertising executive, said the purchase of the Inquirer would return the paper "to a family of civic-minded, long-term investors."