As its parent company struggles to stay afloat, the Anchorage Daily News is shutting down its Juneau bureau and again scaling back its print version, managers told employees last week. The cutbacks come on top of dozens of layoffs, wage freezes and other attempts this year to trim expenses, such as reducing reimbursements on cell phone charges to reporters.
McClatchy Co, the owner of the Anchorage Daily News, is suffering from a mountain of debt and a weak stock price. The company is now looking to sell one of its prized assets, The Miami Herald, according to The New York Times.
“The bid to sell The Herald continues the fallout from McClatchy's $4.5 billion purchase in 2006 of Knight Ridder, the newspaper chain that had owned the Miami paper,” according to The Times article. “Largely as a result of that deal, one of the biggest in the industry’s history, the company has about $2 billion in debt, payments on which eat up much of its cash flow.”
For Alaskans, the Herald’s potential sale raises questions if McClatchy will offload more papers, including the Anchorage Daily News. In the business community, some have speculated the state’s largest newspaper will eventually be sold, and perhaps an Alaska-based company, such as a Native corporation, will buy it up. The Daily News and McClatchy have given no sign they plan to sell the paper.
Hat tip: Fading to Black