July 24, 2008

Bristol Press owner defaults on loans...

It appears that the Journal Register Co., which owns The Bristol Press and many other newspapers in Connecticut, is in technical default on loans that it owes, according to this story in Editor & Publisher.
What does that mean? I don't know. But it can't be a good thing.
I don't believe a major newspaper company has ever before found itself in this position. And the truly scary part is that a number of others, including the Tribune Co. that owns The Hartford Courant, are heading in the same direction.
What will a democracy without newspapers look like? I can't even imagine it.

Addendum: I really should mention that what's particularly frustrating is that the Press, the Courant and most of the other papers that are struggling these days are actually making money. It's just that their parent companies are so laden with debt that they are having a hard time paying back money borrowed for stuff that had nothing at all to do with the papers we work for. So the owners squeeze what they can from their costs -- paring employees, wiping out sections of the paper, nickeling and diming at every turn -- and hope they can find a way to stay in the game. It's a sickening downward spiral that has all of us in journalism shaking our heads.
And I'm afraid there's a lot more at stake than whether the local paper lives or dies.

Update: The company's stock closed at 3 cents a share today. That makes the total market value of the company $1.3 million. One consolation, I suppose, is that it can't get much lower.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Tim Gamache said...

Definitely NOT GOOD!

Anonymous said...

But have they paid their taxes????

Anonymous said...


(which is good)

Steve Collins said...

Ah, c'mon, confess it: you'll miss me when I'm gone.

Anonymous said...

I won't miss you.

Anonymous said...

As Harry Hershman said, "'tis sad"

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is an opportunity in disguise?

Corporate control over media sources has to end eventually. Perhaps this is a new beginning?

We just need entrepreneurial journalists or others to organize an effort to "buy" the profitable local newspapers and take control back!

Imagine a day when REAL investigative journalism returns, it can happen and you and Jackie can lead the way, Steve!

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." SENECA

All is not lost. I believe. Do you?

Matt from Plymouth said...

I like the blog, can't stand the paper. Haven't paid for it in years.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, c'mon, confess it: you'll miss me when I'm gone"

No Collins, I won't really. I'm Sorry.

Anonymous said...

time for all our good leaders to open their mouths. (Craid Minor)

Anonymous said...

Steve, just remember if we didn't love you then we wouldn't pick on you, lol.

Anonymous said...

10:53, way to go, pat yourself on the back because no one else will - oops, maybe I'll change my mind.

Anonymous said...

Actually Steve, you have a funny way of getting the truth out.

I will miss you.


Anonymous said...

Steve& Jackie..what will you both do?

What will happen to the Tattoo?

Do you have a 401(k)s you can live off of...but what about educating your children??

Oh my Steve..you may need to create your own destiny.

I will miss youhaoever..but ...you rare not gone yet???...why is everyone saying goodbye!!

You'll land on your feet...you'll see.