MediaNews Ending SEC Disclosures

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Closely held MediaNews Group, the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper chain, is becoming even more private — telling the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it will no longer file financial and other reports.

In an SEC filing, MediaNews said it had reached agreements with The Bank of New York regarding senior subordinated notes that released it from its obligation to file disclosures on a voluntary basis.

“Such obligation has been replaced with an obligation to deliver to note holders quarterly and annual financials,” Vice President and CFO Ronald A. Mayo said in the filing. “Accordingly, the company will no longer be filing reports under the (SEC) 1934 Act on a voluntary basis.”

MediaNews is almost entirely owned by co-founders Richard Scudder and William Dean Singleton and certain of their family members.

MediaNews, which over the years has taken on big debt to buy more newspapers, had filed SEC disclosures since at least 1996. Private companies such as MediaNews are sometimes obligated by indenture covenants when they sell notes to voluntarily disclose financial and other information to the SEC. The MediaNews filing indicates the indentures had been changed on its series of senior subordinated notes.

In its last financial filing with the SEC, MediaNews reported it had long-term debt totaling $1.074 billion. It reported revenue of $363 million for the year.

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