“It’s the debt, stupid,” says Poynter Institute business commentator Rick Edmonds, who chides newspaper chains that grew through debt-financed acquisitions, such as McClatchy, Media News and the new Sam Zell empire. They will have a hard time in this downturn as they try to pay huge interest charges with declining cash flows. He contrasts these expansionists to:
some companies (that) have had the good sense or good fortune not to buy any newspapers this decade. That hasn’t earned them favor on Wall Street, but it does leave a lot more maneuvering room for transformation in the next several years . . . That group would include, among others, A.H. Belo, E.W. Scripps, the Washington Post and New York Times companies, and Cox.