The publisher of the Bridgehampton-based Dan’s Papersfiled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, although this week Dan’s Papers founder Dan Rattiner said in a written statement that the 50-year-old publication would “survive and thrive through these corporate machinations.”
On Friday, the Brown Publishing Company and Brown Media Holding Company board of directors voted to file for bankruptcy protection at a meeting at its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to documents filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip on Friday, the family-owned publishing company is seeking $2.5 million in financing to shepherd the companies through bankruptcy.
The Brown Publishing Company is family-owned and has been in existence for close to 100 years. In addition toDan’s Papers, which was acquired in 2007 along with theMontauk Pioneer and the Insider Guide, Brown Publishing currently owns close to 50 newspapers, a third of them weekly publications with a majority located in the Midwest. It also produces a number of free papers, shoppers and business-related publications.
On Tuesday, Rattiner posted a headline on Dan’s Paperswebsite, danshamptons.com, titled “Dan’s Paper is Here to Stay,” in which he criticized Bloomberg News for allegedly filing an article “with numerous inaccuracies” shortly after the news broke. He also vowed that Dan’s Papers would survive the crisis, and that Brown Publishing would rebound as many publishing companies have following bankruptcy proceedings.
“You remember those times. Money flowed like water,” wrote Rattiner of 2007 and 2008, when Brown Publishing expanded its holdings coast to coast to include publications like Dan’s Papers. “The sky was the limit. Then everything went down the drain.”
According to Rattiner’s post, Brown Publishing financed its expansion with large bank loans, and that the bankruptcy protection is in fact not about selling off its various holdings, including Dan’s Papers, but rather to rid the company of “much of this long-term bank loan.”
Numerous media outlets have reported since Sunday that Brown intends on selling off assets in 10 different states.
“Though Brown (and Dan’s Papers) are profitable, they are not profitable enough to both pay back the loan and continue along with business as usual,” writes Rattiner. “As a result, much of the loan is now to be forgiven. It’s taken a bit of time, but the banks have finally had to concede that something worth $20 million is now worth $10 million, it’s nobody’s fault and something will have to be done to forgive that gap in the middle.”