Last week the company slashed 1,150 jobs at their 50 newspapers– its second major round of reductions in three months. They reportedly lost six newsroom positions in Boise because of declining ad sales.
As if a debt of $1,175,000,000 (In English that’s one billion one hundred seventy-five million) isn’t enough, their financial guys were slick enough to renegotiate the debt so they get to pay an even HIGHER interest rate. They also agreed to put up more collateral–like the worn out press in Boise perhaps?
Quarterly dividends were slashed by 50% to 9 cents per share, payable Oct. 6 to shareholders as of Friday, giving the company more cash to reduce debt. Meanwhile their CEO in Sacramento got an $800,000 bonus and free rides on the company jet….does a BAILOUT seem needed?
The GUARDIAN takes no joy in seeing the demise of a once great newspaper and an Idaho institution. If things get bad enough, perhaps a local buyer will be able to acquire the pressless paper and make it a community player and not just a pawn in the game of media chess.
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