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Oregon newspapers file bankruptcy, criticize bank

August 26, 2011

Oregon newspapers file bankruptcy
By Oregon Small Business Association,

Western Communications, which is the publisher of the Oregon newspapers, Bend Bulletin, Baker City Herald and the Redmond Spokesman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. The publisher was unable to resolve issues over its $18 million loan with Bank of America.

Bank of America was criticized on several fronts. A Western Communications CFO said, “They tried to work with us all right—by doubling our interest rate,” and also, “Based on what they told us, the bank in general decided that they didn’t like media companies any more and they particularly didn’t like newspapers.”

Bend Bulletin Editor In Chief said, “It simplifies the issues, but is destructively misleading, to view this Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing as a fight only over money.” and “It is a fight over values, an assessment that admittedly contains a measure of self interest.”

This followed up on last week’s criticism which said it was “a sad, seemingly avoidable and unnecessary dispute with a once-trusted partner. The financial, banking and real estate worlds were in collapse, which certainly put unholy strains on the B of A, as well as all banks. In fact, it took billions of dollars in taxpayer support to stabilize the bankers, which The Bulletin supported in the interest of all small business debtors.”

More on this here, here and here

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Richard Ferguson August 29, 2011

It is sad to see how newspapers have lost their once pre-eminent position as the “PRESS” in this country. Much of the problem is the sound bite cable news shows and the internet bloggers. Bloggers are not accountable for verifying their reporting and cable news is a collection of headlines dispersed between insurance commercials.
When I was in the news business, I had to verify the facts and get all sides of a story before going to print. In my lifetime, Television has always had the advantage of immediacy that print never had. But Newspapers were trusted because they got the whole story and got it right!
That has changed because of agenda driven reporting. The “Liberal Press” lost the trust of most mainstream Americans and in the process, lost the moral clout that truth gave them. Without that real competitive edge, it was only a matter of time until they were weakened enough to become the prey of soulless financial corporations like the Bank of America.
Newspapers can be compared to the shrinking middle class of America. Both are absolutely necessary to freedom. Both are under attack. Both fell prey to the promises of narcissistic politicians and the greedy financial system.
The middle class is losing their homes, their savings, their future and their hopes for their children. Newspapers have lost their once considerable power, their position in the community and now, their existence. America is losing the very warp and weave of freedom.
I often feel these days like the mark in a massive con job. Let’s see, we give the banks billions of dollars to save them so that they can help us keep our homes and stay in business providing a stabilizing influence on the economy. They take the money, invest it in US t-bills, keep the interest and give it back without providing any of the relief they promised. Sounds like a pretty good scam.
I could offer some advice to newspapers about how to regain their respectability and trust, but I know it would go unheeded. Pearls before swine and such. So I will just say I feel your pain but from one newspaper man to another: you should have seen this coming.

Deb August 30, 2011

Your comments were right on the money.

Bud August 30, 2011

and money is in short supply nowadays

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