MCC (Morris)

Morris Communications (MCC) [MCC has asked that we not link to their websites]  is a privately owned diverse media company (mostly newspapers) which operates 15 AM and 19 FM radio stations.  They have their headquarters in Augusta, Georgia.

History

The roots of Morris Communication’s publishing business go back to 1785 with the founding of the August Journal.  William S. Morris Jr acquired the paper in the 1940s.  His son William S Morris III, joined the company in the 1950s.  William Morris III remains as the chairman, and his son William S Morris IV is the President and CEO (of the publishing group)

Unlike the Milwaukee Journal, Morris did not start a radio station back in the 1920s.  They became involved in radio only in 1995 as it because clear radio was going to be deregulated.   Their acquisition included Stauffer Communications, the Desert Radio Group and Pioneer Broadcasting.   They also own a radio station in Monaco on the French Riviera and a company that promotes barrel racing competitions.   

The cross ownership rule prohibits Morris from owning radio stations in cities where they operate a newspaper.

Major Stations – top 25 markets

MCC has no stations in a major market.  Their stations are concentrated in Topeka Kansas, the California Desert, Anchorage Alaska, and Coastal Washington State

+------------+------------------+--------+
| Station    | City             | State |
+------------+------------------+--------+
| KDGL FM    | YUCCA VALLEY     | CA     |
| KNWH AM    | YUCCA VALLEY     | CA     |
| KNWQ AM    | PALM SPRINGS     | CA     |
| KNWZ AM    | COACHELLA        | CA     |
| KXPS AM    | THOUSAND PALMS   | CA     |
| KCLB FM    | COACHELLA        | CA     |
| KKUU FM    | INDIO            | CA     |
| KFUT AM    | THOUSAND PALMS   | CA     |
| KFQD AM    | ANCHORAGE        | AK     |
| KHAR AM    | ANCHORAGE        | AK     |
| KBRJ FM    | ANCHORAGE        | AK     |
| KEAG FM    | ANCHORAGE        | AK     |
| KMXS FM    | ANCHORAGE        | AK     |
| KAYO FM    | WASILLA          | AK     |
| KWHL FM    | ANCHORAGE        | AK     |
| WIBW AM    | TOPEKA           | KS     |
| WIBW FM    | TOPEKA           | KS     |
| KSAL AM    | SALINA           | KS     |
| KSAJ FM    | ABILENE          | KS     |
| KYEZ FM    | SALINA           | KS     |
| KBLS FM    | NORTH FORT RILEY | KS     |
| KSAL FM    | SALINA           | KS     |
| KABI AM    | ABILENE          | KS     |
| KGNC AM    | AMARILLO         | TX     |
| KGNC FM    | AMARILLO         | TX     |
| KKRT AM    | WENATCHEE        | WA     |
| KWIQ AM    | MOSES LAKE NORTH | WA     |
| KWOK AM    | HOQUIAM          | WA     |
| KXRO AM    | ABERDEEN         | WA     |
| KDUX FM    | ABERDEEN         | WA     |
| KKRV FM    | WENATCHEE        | WA     |
| KWIQ FM    | MOSES LAKE       | WA     |
| KWLN FM    | WILSON CREEK     | WA     |
| KXXK FM    | HOQUIAM          | WA     |
+------------+------------------+--------+

Ownership

MCC is privately held, mostly by relatives of the late William Morris (Willim S Morris was not the the talent agency guy – at least I can’t find a connection).  

The Publishing Company is a subsidiary of Morris Communications until January 2009, when it was moved to the control of Shivers Trading & Operating Company when Morris was unable to meet the terms of its debt obligations and the company failed to meet its February 1 interest payment of $9 million.   The Savannah Morning News is reporting in May 2009 that bankruptcy is imminent.  They own $414 million and JP Morgan is representing the creditors.  The Editor of the Augusta newspaper denies the paper is in trouble.  June 1st, Tom Taylor informed his readers that MCC has been given two more weeks to come up with the cash.

Management

Robert Morris III and Robert Morris IV.

Financial Condition as of 2008 (2009 10-Q)

The 10-Q contains a continuing concern warning, that the company may fail to meet its obligations under a 2005 credit facility.   The radio stations are not held by the publishing company, so it’s not clear if they would be affected if the Publishing company defaults.

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