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Another newspaper deathwatch list with no real news

Re-stating the obvious: Pioneer Press parent MediaNews is on the brink of default, says a former purveyor of optimistic crapola.
By David Brauer

Hey, guess what? The Pioneer Press is in trouble!

Another day, another deathwatch list, though with about as much new news as the infoporn tossed about by Real Clear Politics and Time magazine.

Moody’s Investor Service — last seen bestowing AAA bond ratings on corporate crapola — suddenly got religion and realized it should talk about companies that might fail. In fact, it’s debuted a new quarterly publication devoted to companies on the brink of default. Who says they’re not launching new titles anymore?

Anyway, this handmaiden of American crony capitalism lists PiPress parent MediaNews Group as one of four media companies with “high default risk and low liquidity.”

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Tell us something we don’t know.

As recently as last June, MediaNews redid its credit agreements so it wouldn’t have to publicly report results. That’s usually not something that buoys bond buyers, no matter how much smoke bond houses have blown up their heinies.

MediaNews has flirted with default for months; in December, the newly responsible Moody’s cut the publisher’s bond rating to the third lowest on a 21-notch scale, which put it on the “high default” list. It’s still there, where it’s been for three months.

Frankly, the story so far is that MediaNews has avoided default for this long. Check back when they file.