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WSJ: MediaNews struggled to avoid bankruptcy

The Wall Street Journal reports that MediaNews had been teetering for months and, according to CEO Dean Singleton, had been trying to rework its debt load instead of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“It was personally difficult for me,” Singleton told the Journal. “I’m a ranch kid from West Texas, and we don’t like the ‘B word.'”

The Journal said that Singleton’s ability to retain control over MediaNews “represents a face-saving victory in the company’s restructuring.”

Singleton said that once the bankruptcy is over, he plans to lead an industrywide consolidation. Asked which newspapers or groups of newspapers might be combined, Mr. Singleton answered: “You can look at the map.”

The MediaNews chain owns most of the paid-circulation dailies in the Bay Area including the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, Marin Independent Journal, San Mateo County Times and the Daily News in Palo Alto.

(More coverage below)

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