Urban newspapers, which are facing a startlingly bleak selling environment, are in such decline that some cities may lose their local newspapers completely within a couple of years.
Editor and Publisher magazine reports that low advertising revenue is a major factor driving huge debt among many newspapers.
That may force some to default on payments and fold within the next year or two.
Two major newspaper companies — the McClatchy Company and Tribune Company — already have dismal credit ratings.
In a recent media outlook report, credit ratings firm Fitch Ratings said, “Fitch believes more newspapers and newspaper groups will default, be shut down and be liquidated in 2009 and several cities could go without a daily print newspaper by 2010.”
All forms of media will suffer during the recession, the report said, but newspapers are particularly vulnerable.
“‘Several Cities’ Could Have No Daily Paper As Soon As 2010, Credit Rater Says”
Editor & Publisher, December 3, 2008