Named executive editor of The Augusta Chronicle in March 2009. Previously was executive editor of The Times in Shreveport, La., for five years and managing editor for four. Started professional career as a staff photographer with the Knoxville Journal in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1987. Worked in different roles at several newspapers on the East Coast. Recently elected to the Associated Press Managing Editors board of directors after efforts helping coordinate convention events and will serve as program chair for the 2010 convention.
Posted January 13, 2010 05:59 pm - Updated January 13, 2010 07:37 pm

Chapter 11 is no surprise

We’ve known for months that Morris Publishing Group LLC put forth a prepackaged debt swap deal to resolve lingering financial issues. These issues emerged as the newspaper marketplace started to change and worsened when the national economy went in the tank. The deal has a history. Perhaps you remember all of the forebearance reports?

A small number of bondholders could not be reached or didn’t want to be reached regarding the plan, forcing the company to move towards the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that was announced today. The final extended deadline passed yesterday.

For those of you worried about how this affects The Augusta Chronicle -- the flagship of the 13 daily newspapers owned by Morris Publishing , there is minimal impact. We continue to hire people. We are launching a new Web site (more on this near the end of the month). Current operations are ahead of January goals. Our business relationships are solid, and we are moving forward.

We’ve anticipated this day was coming and have been preparing. Our plans to beef up local news coverage are part of a new vision and effort to serve you for many years to come.

Bankruptcy is a word you never want to hear. In this case, it simply is a financial restructuring through the bankruptcy courts. In this economy, our parent company isn’t alone.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that these prepackaged deals are up threefold (see fourth paragraph in this hyperlink). The media industry has been hit pretty hard. The good news is that we have great support for how we’ll get through this chapter and going forward with our new plans.

In some ways, this news is good news. It gets everything on the table and everything resolved.

So, we appreciate the concern. All your support is needed. But don’t worry. We’ll still be delivering to your doorstep tomorrow and into your digital world for many years to come.