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Blog » Bulletin in Bankruptcy

Bulletin in Bankruptcy

The company that owns one of Central Oregon’s most prominent media outlets, the Bend Bulletin, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. While a newspaper going broke is nothing new these days, the reason why is what’s especially interesting in this case. According to OPB, the head of Western Communications - the Bulletin’s parent company - blames a bad Bank of America loan for the struggles the business now faces.

The problem apparently started when the company took out an $18 million dollar loan from BofA to make improvements and buy another business. But when the stock market tanked, so did the profits of the media conglomerate. Due to the agreement with BofA, the terms of the loan changed and the publishers were faced with sky-high interest rates.

Homeowners across the country are familiar with such scenarios, except this story will likely have a much different ending. Unlike homeowners, businesses are able to ask a judge to renegotiate the terms of a loan in bankruptcy court, which means the Bulletin has a far higher chance of reaching a reasonable repayment schedule than their readers facing foreclosure in hard hit Central Oregon do. Traditionally, the Bulletin has taken a rather conservative, bank-friendly angle when reporting on the housing crisis and the financial industry that caused it. Let’s hope that they’ll take something from their newly learned lesson – that even bedfellows aren’t immune to getting steamrolled by big banks.