McClatchy Co. is having its worst week on record following worsening pension-funding problems for the owner of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee. The newspaper owner’s stock plunged 82% this week after it disclosed that the IRS declined to grant a three-year waiver request for it to provide its minimum required pension fund contribution.
It said the plan was underfunded by about $535 million as of March 31. The company said it’s seeking legislative relief from Congress to lower the financial burden, but has also started talks with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and its largest debt holder to explore other alternatives. McClatchy faced a revenue and circulation decline during its most recent quarter, though digital subscriptions rose.
On Tuesday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram sent a notice to subscribers saying that starting Feb. 22, the newspaper will limit access to the Saturday edition to online only and provide “expanded newspapers on Fridays and Sundays.”