Singleton pays to party

Dean Singleton really wants Denver to make a good impression at next week's Democratic National Convention - and money doesn't appear to be an object. The CEO of MediaNews, the newspaper company that owns the Daily News, Daily Breeze and a bunch of other Socal dailies that have been cutting like crazy, has another of his properties, the Denver Post, sponsoring a media party Saturday night at Elitch Gardens, a big Denver theme park. Denver's other paper, the Rocky Mountain News, is also a sponsor, but Singleton seems especially interested in the shindig. Actually, there had been some talk that he threatened to pull out of the event when some organizers proposed a cattle-drive parade to kick off the convention (Singleton wants the world to know that Denver is not some cow town). Anyway, Robert Sweeney, publisher of The Villager, a weekly, said Singleton told him that it would cost $1.5 million to host the event. In his weekly column (no link), Sweeney didn't offer details on where the money was coming from, but considering the financial woes that MediaNews faces it's bound to be noticed within the Singleton newsrooms.

By the way, Singleton hopes that the proceeds from a sale of several Connecticut newspapers will provide some wiggle room in the company’s efforts to pare down debt. Purchase price is believed to be $155 million. From the Denver Business Journal:

The deal comes as MediaNews has been contending with heavy debt, declining credit ratings and severe revenue declines in markets such as Colorado and California. Standard & Poor’s in June lowered its MediaNews credit rating to CCC — well into junk-bond territory — and A&P analyst Emile Courtney in a June 17 Bloomberg News report listed MediaNews as one of several media companies he considered at risk of going into default on its debt. Company officials dismissed such concerns, saying they have always complied with their debt covenants and have faced downturns before.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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