Tucked away in an Editor & Publisher story about a faltering bid by Torstar Corp., parent company of the Toronto Star, for the newspapers in Canwest LP’s chain, is this tidbit:
David Black, whose Honolulu Star-Bulletin just got clearance to buy the market-leading Honolulu Advertiser from Gannett Co. and merge the two dailies, is reportedly also bidding on the Canwest papers.
Torstar in turn owns about a 20% share of Black Press.?
Meanwhile, former Star-Bulletin business reporter Tim Ruel notes:
Canada-based public company Torstar still owns about 20% of Black Press, which is soon to be Honolulu’s only daily newspaper publisher. This is from Torstar’s first-quarter earnings early this morning:
“Torstar’s share of Black Press’s net income would have been a loss of $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2010, including a $3.1 million impairment loss related to a customer-related intangible asset and goodwill related to a printing operation. Excluding the impairment charge, Torstar’s share of Black Press’s net income would have been a loss of $0.5 million compared with income of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2009. Black Press’s operating results improved in the quarter as revenue declines slowed and significant cost savings, including lower interest expense, were realized.”
In short, Black Press lost $18 million during the first quarter because of an impairment loss. Revenues fell but not as badly as before.
I just wish more information was available about Black Press and its real finances. It would be interesting to see the company’s total debt-load.?