The owner of the Rockford Register Star and the Freeport Journal Standard has filed for voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Delaware.
GateHouse Media Inc. announced earlier this month that it had entered into an agreement with some secured lenders to restructure $1.2 billion of debt scheduled to come due in August 2014.
According to Michael Reed, GateHouse director and chief executive officer, the bankruptcy filing for prepackaged reorganization was a strategic decision.
“We don’t believe our customers, vendors or employees will notice any change in our day-to-day operations as a result of the bankruptcy. From an operational standpoint, it’s business as usual.”
-- Michael Reed, GateHouse Media
After emerging from bankruptcy, GateHouse will be owned by New Media Investment Group Inc., along with Local Media Group. Pension, trade and all other unsecured creditors of GateHouse would not be affected under the plan. GateHouse operates in 330 markets across 21 states.
GateHouse’s common stock would be canceled, and secured debtors could receive 40 cents per dollar of debt or stock in New Media.
The Register-Star and WNIJ News have recently begun a collaboration on some news projects.