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MediaNews bankruptcy hearing March 4


The date has been set. U.S. District Judge Kevin J. Carey of the bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday set a date of March 4 to hear the MediaNews Chapter 11 case.

The deadline to file objections is Feb. 4. To object, go to PDF page 139 (numbered in the document as page 124) in the MNG disclosure notice for instructions.

Appearing before Judge Carey was Kathryn A. Coleman of Hughes Hubbard and Reed, the Manhattan law firm representing MNG.

She briefly recited the situation — that the bankruptcy plan would reduce the company’s debt from $930 million to $178 million.

Judge Carey seems to get a lot of media bankruptcy cases. Recently he approved $45.6 million in Tribune Company bonuses. Here’s a link to a union site where he was criticized.

Contrary to earlier reports, Hearst will remain a shareholder in MediaNews, and will probably do better than other creditors. Hearst’s share of MNG’s non-Bay Area assets will go from 31% to 14%. While that sounds like a haircut, Hearst will retain more of its $317 million investment in MNG than other shareholders, who will only get 19 cents on the dollar.

Nothing in the bankruptcy papers filed so far rules out the idea that MNG and Hearst might try to swing a deal to sell the Chron to Singleton, as was discussed a couple of years ago.

In fact, media venture capitalist and “Reflections of a Newsosaur” blogger Alan Mutter says this scenario might go down:

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