FUNDING SQUEEZE: Two beleaguered media companies are facing pressure from creditors. American Media Inc., publishers of Shape, the National Enquirer and Star, has exactly one week to make an interest payment worth about $20 million to bondholders that is past due; missing this payment could result in a default on all of AMI’s debt. In early November, the company deferred its decision to make the payment in respect to its 10.25 percent senior subordinated notes due in 2009. The 30-day grace period ends Dec. 1.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday that Quadrangle Partners is in talks with lenders over restructuring Alpha Media Group, home of Maxim and Blender. Quadrangle Partners acquired the company in 2007 for a reported $250 million, but the company is said to have borrowed more than half the funds to close the deal. The private equity fund has yet to yield large returns on its investment; since Alpha’s inception, the company has folded Stuff magazine into Maxim and lost its founding chief executive officer, Kent Brownridge. Ad pages at both titles have also been soft. Maxim reported a 10 percent decline in pages, to 852, while music magazine Blender carried just 534 pages through 2008, a 30 percent loss of pages, according to Media Industry Newsletter. Quadrangle executives did not return calls for comment by press time.
— Amy Wicks and Stephanie D. Smith