By John Wagner December 1, 2018 5:00PM ETAAP, a holding company for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., has filed for bankruptcy protection after the newspaper publisher filed for Chapter 11 protection in New York state, according to a filing by the New York attorney general’s office.
The company filed for its bankruptcy protection in January, just as the company was preparing to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection under the Affordable Care Act.
The filing indicates that the company has “been unable to maintain its operations,” according to the filing.
“We should not have allowed the newspapers to win,” said Mark Hetfield, the attorney general.
“We should have been the ones to bail them out.”
A federal judge in New Jersey ruled in February that the newspapers are still required to pay more than $300 million in fines to state governments and the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group for failing to post proper information about its tax breaks.
The Times, the Post and other publications, including the Wall Street Journal, are part of News Corp. The company’s parent company, News Corp.’s 21st Century Fox unit, also owns the Fox News Channel and The Wall Street Post.
The companies are all based in New England.
News Corp., which also owns Fox News, Fox Business Network, and the Wall St. Journal, declined to comment.
The bankruptcy filing shows that the filing is related to a claim filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office for more than a year, which alleged that the newspaper and its partners failed to accurately disclose that the state had not been able to pay for the state’s Medicaid program and that there was no guarantee that New York could pay for Medicaid.
In a letter to the state attorney general in February, News Corporation said that it had not disclosed the facts of the claim in the past and that it would comply with the court’s order.
In the filing, Schneiderman said he was “extremely concerned about the lack of transparency in the state of New York regarding the payment of public benefits, which is why I have filed a civil action in federal court seeking restitution for taxpayers whose hard-earned money was allegedly stolen.”
A New York judge rejected the lawsuit, saying it was “out of character” for News Corp and other newspapers to ignore state law and “tarnish the public image of New Jersey.”
In a statement, News Group CEO James Murdoch said that News Corp was “committed to the public interest and transparency in our business, and has always been proud of our role in providing coverage to the New England region.”
Murdoch also said that the News Corp-owned Wall Street Sun, which he owns with his son James, is a “great example of a newsroom that consistently serves the public and the media.”
“We expect our partners in the print industry to follow suit,” Murdoch said.
“In this case, we believe that the media is not a commodity and it’s important that it’s clear who is paying for our coverage.”