McClatchy pushes ‘fake news’ to woo investors amid its financial woes ???


Two of the biggest drive-by stinkers in our state — The N&O and The Charlotte Observer — are owned by the McClatchy conglomerate.  Check out the latest word on what McClatchy is accused of:


It pays to lie.

McClatchy, the newspaper chain and media conglomerate, has been caught deliberately printing easy-to-prove-false fake news regarding a key GOP congressman at the center of the hoax investigations Democrats are using to target President Donald Trump, then turning around and using said false reports to financially boost the company amid serious concerns about the company’s falling stock price.


McClatchy has seen a significant drop in stock price over the past several years, especially this year.  According to investment analyst service Morning Star, it is down to $2.78 per share at the close of business on Wednesday afternoon. McClatchy’s stock opened the year in the mid-$7 per share range but has slowly but surely slid down now near its all-time-low—it was trading at a slightly lower-per-share amount back in May than it is now


Poynter wrote in a 2018 piece about the newspaper company’s woes:


For more than a decade, the McClatchy family has resolutely kept the newspaper company bearing its name afloat and independent despite a crushing debt load. The tough financial hand McClatchy’s board and executives have been dealt is getting even tougher with a terrible year for the industry unfolding and another expected in 2019. McClatchy stock has lost almost all its value to investors. Its market capitalization (the number of shares multiplied by share price) sits at $69 million, lowest of the seven public newspaper companies. At the same time, refinancing of the company’s $794 million debt earlier this year consolidated more lending control in the hands of a longtime creditor, the private Chatham Asset Management hedge fund.


It’s only gotten worse for McClatchy since that piece a little over a year ago in Poynter. McClatchy’s financial outlook is now so bad that the company received a warning in September of this year from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that it will be delisted if it does not get its act together financially, with the NYSE giving McClatchy 18 months to come into compliance with its standards, otherwise it will lose its listing.


As the company races to raise revenues to save its 29 daily newspapers in 14 states, including perhaps most notably the Fresno Bee in California, the company has shifted business strategy to incorporating nonprofit and foundation funding of issues-based coverage into its model. A Digiday report noted that despite an increase in digital subscribers in the last quarter, McClatchy reported astonishing losses of $17.5 million in one quarter—against revenues of just $178.7 million.




McClatchy noted:


McClatchy is below compliance with Sections 1003(a)(i) and 1003(a)(ii) of the NYSE American continued listing standards since it reported stockholders’ deficit of $372.5 million as of June 30, 2019 and net losses in each of the four most recent fiscal years ended December 30, 2018. However, NYSE American will not normally consider suspending dealings in, or removing from the list, the securities of an issuer which is below the continued listing standards set forth in Sections 1003(a)(i)-(iii) if the issuer meets certain other criteria, including, among others, total assets and revenues of $50 million in the last fiscal year or in two of the last three fiscal years, and a market value of publicly held shares (as defined by NYSE American) of at least $15 million.


The release said McClatchy intends to submit a plan to the NYSE by Wednesday of this week—the plan should have been submitted by the time of the publication of this article—“advising how the Company plans to regain compliance with the continued listing standards by March 9, 2021.”


“If NYSE American does not accept the plan or the Company is not in compliance with the continued listing standards as of March 9, 2021, or does not make progress consistent with the plan, NYSE American may initiate delisting procedures,” McClatchy noted.


If the NYSE removes McClatchy’s listing, it would be another significant financial blow to the once-great newspaper company. That gets back to the broader question as to whether the McClatchy family—which still has control over the news organization—will have to sell the company, as the Graham family had to sell the Washington Post to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.[….]


Wow.  Sell The N&O to Bob Luddy. (Or Garland Tucker.)