Newspaper Default-o-Matic: Pi Press parent a big credit risk

Bored with words? Like to look at graphs instead? Still want to follow the burgeoning newspaper financial crisis?

Longtime journalist and current CEO Alan Mutter has created a handy tool just for you called the "Default-o-Matic," which breaks down how tenuous each newspaper corporation's financial status is. The data is obtained using ratings provided by Moody’s Investors Service, and his most recent post in this category assesses MediaNews, parent of the Pi Press.

The Default-o-Matic rates the company as a high risk, giving it a higher than 25 percent failure chance. This is pretty grim, and though we don't want to compare this apple to the Strib's orange (since the Strib is owned by a company that doesn't specialize in media), it's safe to say neither ownership group is exactly turning cartwheels.

Don't think that we're picking on the local dailies, either. Check out this chilling tale of lost equity.

The value of 11 newspaper companies traded on the public market since 2005 dove a combined $23.7 billion in the first half of this year, falling almost as much in six months as they had in the three prior years put together.

It's like the housing industry, just on newsprint.

UPDATE: MediaNews says "cost-cutting is not a long-term strategy." Interesting.

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