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Lee Enterprises files for bankruptcy

The news is hardly unexpected for a newspaper company carrying so much debt, but anyway. Lee Enterprises today cheerfully announced that it had agreements from a majority of its creditors to extend their repayment terms. For the remainder of the creditors — the ones who actually wanted Lee to repay its debt in a timely fashion — don’t worry. Lee filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy to “bind the remaining minority of non-consenting lenders to the terms.”

The company claimed in its announcement and letter to employees and interested parties that, while this technically falls under bankruptcy laws, it’s really going to be OK because all the stockholders get to keep what they already have and the employees will not be affected thanks to the company’s “strong cash flow.”

Honestly, if the cash flow was so strong, why couldn’t they make their loan payments? But I digress from the cheery news. Let’s listen to the words of Lee CEO Mary Junck: “All of this underscores our excitement and confidence as we enter 2012.”

Lee Enterprises owns the Billings Gazette, Helena Independent Record, Montana Standard, Missoulian and several other Montana papers.