MediaNews Group, the Bay Area’s largest newspaper publisher, reported a net income of $19.73 million for the year ending June 30, up from $1.08 million during the same period a year earlier, thanks to the acquisition of the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times. Revenue increased 59 percent to $1.33 billion from $835.9 million.
The chain of 57 dailies and 97 weeklies also said in its annual report that:
- • Chief executive and vice chairman Dean Singleton, 56, (left) received compensation of $1.83 million, including a salary of $1,061,250 and a stock award of $484,000.
• President Joseph J. “Jody” Lodovic IV, 46, (second from left) received $2.23 million, including a salary of $722,100, bonuses of $1.1 million and stock awards of $302,500.
• Steven Rossi, 58, (third from left) executive vice president and chief operating officer, received $688,017.
• Gerald Grilly, the former executive vice president and chief operating officer, received $1.76 million, including $1.48 million in severance.
Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain News (a Scripps newspaper which has a joint operating agreement with Singleton’s Denver Post) reports that MediaNews Group has been placed on credit watch by Standard & Poor’s, with a downgrade possible if its results continue to deteriorate. According to the Rocky:
- S&P said the company’s decline in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is the result of lower advertising revenue in most of the company’s newspaper markets.
The ratings agency said MediaNews is in negotiations with its lenders to ease financial covenants that require a certain ratio of debt to earnings.
“Although MediaNews has been pursuing cost efficiency measures for some time and expects to achieve additional cost savings in future periods, revenue declines have outpaced cost cuts during the past few quarters,” analyst Emile Courtney said.