Parent company of Observer-Dispatch files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - GateHouse Media, owner of the Utica Observer-Dispatch, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

GateHouse announced Sept. 11 that it had entered into an agreement to restructure about $1.2 billion of debt that was to come due in August 2014.

Observer-Dispatch President and Publisher Donna Donovan says the move will not mean layoffs for the local paper.

"This has absolutely no impact on the operations of the O-D at all," Donovan said. "It is just a restructuring of the debt."

According to GateHouse Director and CEO Michael Reed, the bankruptcy was a strategic decision to facilitate the restructuring.

"We have compiled with and are current with all our obligations," Reed said, "but with the challenges facing our industry and the the impending maturity of our secured debt next year, we needed to be proactive in exploring options to restructure our debt, recapitalize and position ourselves for future growth."

While pensions would not be affected under the plan, GateHouse's common stock would be canceled. According to Reed, GateHouse has sufficient cash to operate during the process and does not intend to obtain debtor-in-possession financing.

"We don't believe our customers, vendors or employees will notice any change on our day-to-day operations as a result of the bankruptcy," Reed said. "From an operational standpoint, it's business as usual."


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