GCI partner Tribune said girding for bankruptcy

In fresh evidence of the industry’s downward spiral, multiple reports say Tribune Co. — publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and 10 other dailies plus TV stations — is preparing to seek bankruptcy court protection.

Gannett and Tribune are partners in CareerBuilder, the big employment classifieds website; GCI owns 50.8% and Tribune is No. 2 at 30.8% (the rest is owned by McClatchy and Microsoft.) Gannett and Tribune also are partners in Metromix, a chain of youth-focused entertainment pages on GCI websites.

The Chicago Tribune now has a story, and so does The New York TimesDealBook blog. They follow a Wall Street Journal story (paid subscription may be required to access).

Tribune’s reported step toward court protection comes on a week when newspaper publishers — including CEO Craig Dubow — are making high-profile presentations to powerful media stock analysts on Wall Street.

What’s it mean for Gannett?
This is only the seventh post to include the words “bankruptcy” since I launched Gannett Blog in September 2007. I think we’re going to see more ahead. And that’s why now is an excellent time to review the company’s last earnings statement, for the third quarter, with particular attention to measures of debt.

For that, I gladly step aside to make way for the finance gals and guys on this blog to show us how it’s done — and explain it to the rest of us. Please post your replies in the comments section, below. E-mail confidentially via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: today’s Chicago Tribune, Newseum]

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