McClatchy has announced another large writedown, having already taken a $1.37 billion charge for Q3… this time it’s for $1.39 billion in goodwill and another $166.6 million in impairments to the value of its mastheads, bringing its Q4 loss to $1.43 billion. The goodwill writedowns, of course, are a product of its $4 billion acquisition of Knight Ridder. That a writedown was on the way had already been tipped.
In the release, CEO Gary Pruitt explains: “As I noted in our fourth quarter preliminary earnings release, the recessionary outlook, coupled with the continued decline in our stock price since the end of the third quarter, resulted in additional impairment charges in the fourth quarter. It’s important to understand that this non-cash charge does not reflect our view of the long-term health of the newspaper industry or the value of McClatchy (NYSE: MNI). However, when completing the goodwill impairment assessment, GAAP required that we reconcile the sum of the fair values of our reporting units to our current market capitalization. The company considered the current stock market price of its Class A shares and the fair value of public debt, as well as general economic indicators in determining the amount of the impairment charges recorded in the fourth quarter.”
Note that per their just-filed 10-K, the company only has about $1 billion of goodwill left.