The big John Edwards scoop isn't itself enough to turn the tide for American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer, Star and other titles. NYP is reporting that CEO David Pecker is pushing ('at the 11th hour') to refinance its massive debt load, hoping holders will accept a combination of cash and preferred stock equaling 20 percent of the company. The article suggests that the company is heading towards a "cash crunch" by February, if it can't manage to restructure. So far, the plan is being supported by 33 percent of one class of debtholders and 51 percent of another.
The company recently reported earnings, which showed a decline, though the company maintains it's holding on better than its print peers.
As for Edwards, it did give the company a lift in print and online, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations' Rapid Report. WWD: 'The Enquirer's Aug. 11 issue sold 738,000 single copies, the third-best-selling issue of the year so far and well above its first-half average of 665,419 newsstand copies sold per week. The saga has drawn an even bigger audience online; some 4 to 5 million visitors have flocked to the Enquirer site since the story broke in late July, a tenfold increase in usual monthly traffic."
By Joseph Weisenthal