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Expand chart
Data: Yahoo; Chart: Axios Visuals

Some of the largest local newspaper chains have seen their stocks tumble over the past few weeks, making further consolidation and job losses in the local newspaper space seem inevitable.

Why it matters: The crisis surrounding the collapse of local news is not just being felt by family-owned local newspaper chains, of which there are many, but also major conglomerates and publicly traded newspaper companies.

Driving the news: McClatchy, now the second-largest newspaper chain in the country, saw its stock collapse Friday, dropping by over 60% after it told investors that it likely won't be able to pay the IRS $124 million in pension funding due in 2020, per Poynter.

  • McClatchy also posted revenue declines during its third-quarter earnings released Friday, although it said that it increased its number of paid digital subscribers — a positive sign as advertising forecasts are expected to decline for local print media.
  • According to Bloomberg Law citing analysts, the company could file for bankruptcy within the next year. One analyst, citing McClatchy's finances, says it's unlikely it will have the free cash flow needed to pay back the IRS.

Meanwhile, shareholders approved a merger between Gannett, the newspaper chain that's parent to USA Today and other local papers, and New Media Investment Group, the parent company to newspaper giant GateHouse, on Thursday after months of back and forth financial negotiations.

  • The deal was announced in August for $1.4 billion, but shares have declined since then, devaluing the merger by nearly $300 million at close, per Poynter.
  • Heavy cost synergies, which will inevitably include layoffs, are expected as a result of the merger, which will close Tuesday.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

8 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.

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