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GateHouse Media Q3 loss grows; layoffs here reported

Rochester Business Journal
November 15, 2013

GateHouse Media Inc.’s net loss from continuing operations jumped during the third quarter.
 
The company, which filed for a prepackaged bankruptcy in September, reported a net loss from continuing operations attributable to GateHouse of $129.1 million, or $2.22 a share, compared with $7.7 million, or 13 cents a share, a year ago, documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show.

GateHouse reported an operating loss of $90 million compared with income of $6.9 million during the same period in 2012.

The financial release came amid online reports Friday that the company’s local Messenger Post Media operation had laid off the full-time reporting staff at its eight weekly newspapers that serve Monroe County. Messenger Post reporter James Battaglia tweeted that five reporters, including him, were notified of the layoffs Friday morning.

A message left with GateHouse and a message to Messenger Post Media publisher Richard Procida were not immediately answered.

GateHouse logged revenue in the third quarter totaling $126 million, up from $120 million. The revenue is divided among the company’s advertising, circulation and commercial printing division, with only the advertising segment showing a dip.

At the end of September the company had $19.8 million in cash, down from $36.8 million a year earlier.

On Nov. 6, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware approved a plan to restructure $1.2 billion in debt.

GateHouse has experienced “ongoing declines in print advertising revenue streams and increased volatility of operating performance, despite our geographic diversity, well-balanced portfolio of products, strong local franchises, broad customer base and reliance on smaller markets,” the filing states. Its plan is to make investment in digital media platforms.

The print and online media company, which has its headquarters in Perinton, is slated to emerge from bankruptcy under common ownership with Dow Jones Local Media Group Inc.  Newcastle Investment Corp., which holds roughly half of GateHouse’s $1.2 billion in debt, acquired Local Media Group from News Corp. this summer.

Gatehouse stock (OTC: GHSEQ) was trading Friday afternoon at 4 cents a share, unchanged from Thursday’s close.

Reporter Nate Dougherty contributed to this story.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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