Word is, the Blethens have enough cash on hand to keep the Seattle Times operating through at least March, but they’ll reach a major decision point by May:
While a bankruptcy filing is not imminent, if things play out as expected (no last minute reprieve for the P-I, no big concessions from the Times’ unions), Times executives believe a Chapter 11 filing is more likely than not. Such a filing would not necessarily mean the paper is doomed; rather, a Chapter 11 reorganization would buy the paper time, allowing it to continue publishing as it restructured its operations, figured out a way to pay off its debt, and renegotiated its contracts in an effort to make the paper viable when the local economy recovers.
In other words, the Times will use bankruptcy as an opportunity to break the unions.
More from Publicola’s News Junkie.