"The company noted that on April 15, 2009, it retired $31 million of unsecured notes which had matured."
In McClatchy's case, what happened is McClatchy just refinanced the debt. Blogger G.D. Gearino plowed through documents McClatchy had filed with the SEC and discovered this:
"The Company has $31.0 million of public notes maturing in April 2009 which are expected to be refinanced on a long-term basis by drawing on the Company’s revolving credit facility and accordingly, were included in long-term debt as of December 28, 2008."
"This is like taking out a second mortgage on your home to “retire” your first mortgage. That debt hasn’t been paid. It’s just been moved to a new spot on the balance sheet."