Michael Simonton, welcome to a hot, steaming bowl of claim chowder:
Fitch Ratings analyst Michael Simonton is among the camp that believes McClatchy will wind up in bankruptcy court at some point. "Default is imminent or inevitable," Simonton predicted after McClatchy's debt exchange flopped.In fact, evidence at hand now suggests he was not just wrong, but stupid wrong. This from yesterday (AP):
The surprising profit raised hopes that McClatchy has shrunk down to a size that will enable it to remain in good graces with its lenders and avoid bankruptcy protection ... "'It's really remarkable,'' said newspaper analyst Edward Atorino of Benchmark Co. ''They have done a Herculean job in a difficult economy. Unless things get a lot worse real fast, they should be OK for the rest of 2009.''Obviously, much remains uncertain and unpredictable in the middle of both economic meltdown and an epochal phase transition in the news business. Anything can happen. Your mileage may vary. Yada, yada.
I'm no longer at McClatchy, certainly not privy to any insider information. I'm sure the execs there, as always, will be cautious and deliberate about what they have to say.
But I don't have to be. In the end, you ought to place your bets on one side or the other or shut up.
Note to Simonton: You get paid for this kind of analysis, right? You're an expert? Put up or shut up.