Cross: McClatchy Bankruptcy Shouldn't Worry Lexington Herald-Leader

Feb 13, 2020

Credit McClatchy / via Facebook

The second-largest local newspaper company in the country, McClatchy, which owns the Lexington Herald-Leader, announced on Thursday it will restructure under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but one media expert in Kentucky says the bankruptcy shouldn’t worry the state’s second-biggest newspaper.

Al Cross is the director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky. He said McClatchy bought a lot of media outlets when prices were high in the mid-2000s and has paid the consequences with the industry declining. McClatchy acquired Knight Ridder in 2006.

Despite this, he said their largest bondholder wants to maintain quality local journalism.

“The people in McClatchy towns, like Lexington, are better off than people in towns owned by several other chains and hedge funds,” Cross said.

Despite the bankruptcy, Cross said the health of a newspaper depends on the market it’s in.

“If the market, if the town is healthy, then the newspaper is probably doing okay and I think that is the case with Lexington,” Cross said.

McClatchy owns 30 newspapers including The Sacramento Bee, The Miami Herald and The Charlotte Observer.