CanWest woes

CanWest Global closed the day’s trading on the TSX Monday at a record low of 25 cents following a slew of critical assessments of its financial crisis. Reported Editor and Publisher,
“Moody’s Predicts Canwest Will Miss Looming Payment, Downgrades
Credit.””Canwest shares worthless, to be avoided: analysts” was the headline Reuters used on a story today about analysts’ opinion of the company’s prospects. Advised the Globe and Mail headline “Steer clear of CanWest”

This on the heels of the horrific April 9 quarterly report of a $1.44 billion loss; as reported here by the New York Times and here in the Globe and Mail
with more context: CanWest “has taken a $1.2-billion writedown on its
newspaper assets and may now be in danger of violating another lending
agreement with its banks as the company faces a standoff with lenders
and a sharp drop in advertising revenue.”

CanWest itself is either wearing rose-tinted glasses, or knows something about optimism that most others do not. The April 10 Canadian Press story in the Toronto Star suggested a rosy outlook, quoting CanWest CEO Leonard Asper: Despite $4.1 billion debt, ad woes, CanWest says it’s `well positioned for an economic recovery… The CanWest-owned Financial Post report
take on the same story was distinctly mild in tone. “Economy pressures
Canwest,” said the headline on a FP story with no byline that began, “Global economic
pressures weighed on Canwest Global Communications Corp.’s
second-quarter results while the company’s specialty channels enjoyed a
sharp spike … “

not the only critic who considers CanWest’s vast influence in
journalism a
travesty in a democratic nation. But there’s no pleasure in watching a
company, on which too many good employees depend and on which too many
Canadians rely for news, struggle.