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The Wall Street Journal this morning (April 11) tells how Lee Enterprises, the severely debt-laden parent of the North County Times, is peddling junk bonds that could enable it to "pay off its obligations and give it a shot for survival," says the Journal. But the sale of these junk bonds has riled a group of vulture investors that have been buying Lee's debt, hoping that they could turn these holdings into an ownership stake in Lee -- giving the vultures a big stake in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Arizona Daily Star, among other papers. The vultures include Monarch Alternative Capital, Alden Global Capital, Marblegate Asset Management, and a unit of Goldman Sachs, says the Journal. Lee's $1 billion debt is roughly six times its cash flow; many have felt Lee would not be able to raise money to pay back banks loans that mature in April of next year. Lee was prospering as an owner of small and midsize newspapers until it paid too much for Pulitzer in 2005, a chain of 14 papers including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee's stock closed Friday at $2.97. That's up from the low of 27 cents in March of 2009, but down from almost $35 in 2007.

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Comments

valueinvestingisdead April 11, 2011 @ 9:23 a.m.

NC Times is such a hack of a paper. Most colleges have better papers than this rag.

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SurfPuppy619 April 11, 2011 @ 10:22 a.m.

"The Daily Aztec" was a great paper back in the day when Andy Rathbone was Editor.....

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Don Bauder April 11, 2011 @ 12:40 p.m.

I haven't seen many "great" college or university newspapers, but I haven't made a study of the subject. I was editor-in-chief of the paper at the University of Wisconsin in the 1950s, and I can certainly say that it wasn't great. Many on campus didn't even think it was good. They let us know their feelings. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 11, 2011 @ 12:36 p.m.

I don't see the NC Times, but occasionally find articles from it that are good. Best, Don Bauder

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