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*Creditors OK Catalyst plan: Insolvent Catalyst Paper Corp. said this afternoon that more than 99 percent of its secured and unsecured creditors had approved its latest restructuring plan in votes this morning, leading the way to the company exiting U.S. Chapter 15 bankruptcy and Canadian Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) reorganization. The suburban Vancouver, British Columbia-based newsprint supplier's latest plan cuts back on benefits to retired salaried employees, saving about $7 million a year. An earlier plan was rejected by creditors in late May and the company had begun the process to liquidate its assets; a group of first-lien note holders had offered a "stalking-horse" bid for the assets of $275 million. The company also said that a British Columbia court today extended the deadline on the CCAA protection until Sept. 30. Catalyst declared U.S. bankruptcy and CCAA in January after it was unable to get an agreement with all its creditors about a reorganization plan.

*Q1 ad spending up 2.6 pct.: After a slow January, total ad spending in all media in the United States surged in February and March, said New York City research firm Kantar Media last week, giving the first quarter a gain of 2.6 percent when compared to the same three months in 2011. The firm said newspaper ad spending was down 4.3 percent, with national papers off 7.7 percent, local papers down 3.9 percent and Spanish-language papers up 4.7 percent. The biggest sub-segment gains came in network radio (up 22.9 percent), Spanish-language TV (up 20.7 percent) and national syndicated TV (up 15.7 percent), with the biggest losses in Sunday magazines (down 4.6 percent), consumer magazines (down 4.2 percent) and national spot radio (down 3-1/2 percent). Kantar's newspaper numbers conflict with those of the Newspaper Association of America, which in May reported first-quarter print ad revenue down 8.2 percent.

*San Diego paper goes metered: The web site of U-T San Diego -- formerly known as the San Diego Union-Tribune -- on Thursday began metering user access, the paper said. Users can read up to 15 stories per month free on the site and after that will need a subscription; print subscribers get free total access, including those who subscribe merely to the Sunday paper. "We believe the content we provide from our great journalists is something people are willing to pay for," Mike Hodges, the paper's president and chief operating officer, told a reporter. A digital-only subscription will cost $3.50 per week (the same price as a Sunday-paper-only subscription), the paper said, and a digital subscription includes both the breaking-news tablet application as well as an e-edition tablet app. U-T San Diego said it retained Mather Economics of Roswell, Ga., to help it with its digital plan.

*Downie supports nonprofit news: Leonard Downie Jr., the longtime executive editor of the Washington Post, called in a report last week for the federal government to remove roadblocks from granting full nonprofit status to news-gathering groups that have been launched around the country. Downie, now a professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University, wrote in the white paper, "Making a Difference: Philanthropy and the Future of Local Accountability Journalism," "As commercial news media struggle to reinvent themselves and survive, a growing number of emerging nonprofit news organizations are trying to fill gaps left in local accountability reporting." Downie's report, released on Wednesday, cited the failure last spring of the Chicago News Cooperative as a specific example of the Internal Revenue Service not granting a news-gathering group its 501(c)3 designation, required for donations to be tax deductible.
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 25, 2012
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