Davenport-based Lee Enterprises has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In its filing on Monday with a Delaware bankruptcy court, Lee listed liabilities of nearly 995-million dollars and assets of more than one billion dollars.
The company will honor its debts and pay a higher interest rate to lenders. In return, lenders agreed to extend their loans, now due in April, until at least December 2015. The plan also preserves most of Lee’s stock value, allowing the company to continue trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Lee publishes 48 daily newspapers and employs 6,200 people. It’s the third-largest newspaper publisher to file for bankruptcy, following MediaNews Group in 2010 and the Tribune Company in 2008. Newspaper readership and advertising revenue have been declining nationwide, thanks in large part to the popularity of the Internet.
Lee publishes five newspapers in Iowa: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, The Sioux City Journal, The Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier, The Muscatine Journal and The Quad City Times.
By Phil Roberts, Davenport