LEE FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Lee Enterprises, owner of the Arizona Daily Star, is forcing the hand of unwilling investors by announcing plans for a bankruptcy filing.
In September, the company got numerous note-holders to agree to a massive restructuring plan that would put off a looming debt-arrangement with an April 2012 payout that Lee wouldn't have been able to make. However, not all parties were on board with that arrangement, which would have restructured $138 million of outstanding debt. The decision to follow through on a Chapter 11 filing basically forces creditors into the agreement.
Lee says its prepackaged Chapter 11 plan will dilute shareholder value by 13 percent, but that it has enough cash flow to make it while addressing remaining debt for the future. The often cut-and-dried process could be concluded within 60 days.
Lee's stock, which remains in violation of the New York Stock Exchange's $1 minimum, jumped from 50 to 70 cents on Monday, Dec. 5, following news of the plan.
RADIO AND TV STATIONS PREP FOR FUNDRAISERS
Local radio-station clusters and TV stations set aside part of the holiday season for fundraising purposes, acting as an important source of donations.
KOLD Channel 13 has two major events. This weekend, it will team for the first time with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to promote breast-cancer awareness at the Fourth Avenue Street Fair. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, employees of the CBS affiliate will spend the day outside of the Wells Fargo bank branch at Oracle and Orange Grove roads for a holiday food drive.
The Journal Broadcast Group, which owns and operates KGUN Channel 9 and a number of radio stations, puts a significant emphasis on holiday fundraising. KMXZ FM 94.9, aka MIXfm, recently concluded a record-breaking Community Food Bank fundraiser. Its Thanksgiving on the Mayflower drive brought in $228,000 and 6,600 pounds of food. MIXfm's month-long diaper drive to benefit the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona got a kick-start with A Christmas Carol With a Tucson Twist at the Fox Tucson Theatre.
Journal's KQTH FM 104.1 is in the midst of Operation Holiday Helpers, which benefits Southern Arizona military families. KGUN conducted its first Sun Tran Stuff the Bus event for the food bank on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Another Stuff the Bus is slated for Thursday, Dec. 15—this time, a toy drive for the Salvation Army.
Cumulus has two major fundraisers on tap. On Dec. 8 and 9, KHYT FM 107.5 is conducting its first Diamond Dreams Radio-thon for the Diamond Children's Medical Center. KIIM FM 99.5's annual Penny Pinch push is scheduled for Dec. 21-23 at Foothills Mall. The goal is to collect a million pennies ($10,000) for the Arizona's Children Association.