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New York Times Debt May Be Cut to Junk Status

The newspaper that rails about greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street is about to enter the junk-bond business, apparently. Bloomberg reports:

New York Times debt is rated Baa3, the lowest investment grade, and may be cut to junk. John Puchalla, an analyst with Moody’s Investors Service Inc., has said savings from a cut in the $132 million-a-year dividend could lower debt or fund investments. A $400 million credit line expires in May 2009.

… Newspaper publishers McClatchy Co., Media General Inc., A.H. Belo Corp. and GateHouse Media Inc. have already slashed their dividends this year.

… The Sulzberger family has a 19 percent equity stake in the company, including Class B shares, held by a trust, that elect 70 percent of board members. Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., 57, is chairman of the company and publisher of the New York Times.

Of course, it’s the sub-prime news coverage that really hurts.


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