McClatchy enlists FTI Consulting to manage comms around Chapter 11 filing

McClatchy, the second largest newspaper owner in the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 protection on Thursday.

Image via McClatchy's Twitter page.
Image via McClatchy's Twitter page.

SACRAMENTO: FTI Consulting is managing communications around newspaper owner McClatchy’s bankruptcy.

The consulting firm, which has a PR division, confirmed its representation of McClatchy but provided no further comment.

McClatchy representatives were not immediately available for comment.

McClatchy, the second largest newspaper owner in the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 protection on Thursday, according to a statement from the company. McClatchy faced “mounting debt obligations and a dramatic loss of print revenue,” according to Forbes.

McClatchy, which owns 30 local newspapers, including The Miami Herald and Kansas City Star, said the company’s operations continue as usual while it tries to increase its digital-only subscriptions, which grew by almost 50% year-over-year to 200,000, according to a statement.

As part of the deal, the McClatchy family will let go of the company it has operated for more than 160 years, transferring ownership to hedge fund Chatham Asset Management, which has $4.4 billion in assets under management. McClatchy will be a privately held company.

McClatchy is now “evenly balanced between total audience and advertising revenues, with digital accounting for 40% of those revenues and growing,” a statement said.

FTI Consulting’s strategic comms division reported strong earnings for Q3 2019, with revenue up 8.9% organically to $60 million. Growth was driven by corporate reputation projects involving energy, financial services and healthcare clients. The consulting company will report Q4 earnings later this month.

For the full year of 2019, FTI’s work in M&A fell. The aggregate value of the deals it handled was down 66.8% to $96 billion. The number of deals it was involved in dropped by 55 to 177.

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