Owner of Topeka paper emerges from bankruptcy

AUGUSTA, Ga. —Morris Publishing Group, which owns the Topeka Capital-Journal, said today that it has emerged from under bankruptcy protection.

A judge last month approved a prepackaged debt restructuring for the Georgia-based publisher of 13 daily newspapers, which also includes the Augusta Chronicle and Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville.

The company has spent the past year formulating a plan to shed $288.5 million in debt — or about 70 percent of its total of $415 million. The plan allows Morris' owners to keep control of the privately held company.

Under the plan confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court last month, about $278.5 million in bonds and accrued and unpaid interest has been canceled in exchange for $100 million in new secured notes due in 2014, according to Morris.

Morris Publishing has 1,847 full-time employees and 335 part-time workers.