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Drowning in Debt, McClatchy Files for Bankruptcy

SACRAMENTO — McClatchy Co., the country’s second-largest news company and owner of the Fresno Bee and Sierra Star, announced Thursday it has filed for bankruptcy.

The company said Thursday morning its Chapter 11 filing would remove 60 percent of its debt and help direct the organization transition toward a digital future.

“While this is obviously a sad milestone after 163 years of family control, McClatchy remains a strong operating company and committed to essential local news and information,” Kevin McClatchy, chairman of the company, said in a press release.

“While we tried hard to avoid this step, there’s no question that the scale of our 75-year-old pension plan – with 10 pensioners for every single active employee – is a reflection of another economic era,” he said.

McClatchy says it will continue to operate while in bankruptcy, and the filing will have “no immediate impact” on their administrative employees or the journalists in their 30 newsrooms across the country.

Citing a “dramatic” drop off in foot traffic, McClatchy closed its Sierra Star office in Oakhurst in 2018.

The organization said in its press release that its new owners would likely be Chatham Asset Mangement LLC, who will operate it as a privately held company.

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