The publisher of newspapers serving Walker and Catoosa counties has filed bankruptcy in Rome, Ga.
Burgett H. Mooney III, president of the News Publishing Company, said he plans to reorganize and keep the newspapers going.
They include the Walker County Messenger (2,600 circulation weekly), the Catoosa County News (1,800 circulation weekly), Rome News Tribune (14,000 daily), Cherokee County Herald (2,500 weekly), Calhoun Times (5,000 weekly), and the Rockmart Journal (1,600 weekly).
The newspaper chain is facing over $9 million in debts.
Synovus Bank is owed over $860,000 and Greater Rome Bank over $768,000.
Mr. Mooney said the newspaper chain "has experienced continuing financial difficulty as a result of significant decreases in advertising revenue between October 2008 and December 2012 due to negative market conditions."
He said the newspaper's main revenue source is local retail advertising "and the effect of changes in retail sales have adversely impacted revenue, particularly in the community newspapers."
Mr. Mooney said the chain "has both eliminated unprofitable publications and downsized staffing for its operations in response to its ongoing liquidity needs."
He said the firm considered an out-of-court restructuring or a sale, but "it became clear to the management and board of directors that an out-of-court restructuring could not be accomplished sufficiently quickly to meet the liquidity needs."
Mr. Mooney said the monthly payroll is approximately $380,000. He said newspaper carriers are paid $90,000 per month.
The firm has 143 fulltime employees, including 84 paid on an hourly basis and 59 on a fixed salary.There are 98 carriers.