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S&P cut Tribune 's corporate credit ratings two notches to "CCC," eight steps below investment grade, from "B-minus." It also cut the company's senior and subordinated bonds two notches to "CC," 10 steps below investment grade and a deeply speculative level, from "CCC."
The company's long-term viability relies on its reducing its leverage, which in September stood at more than 11 times debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA.
Here's a handy guide to bond ratings for those of you playing along at home; as of September, Moody's gave TribCo a rosier outlook. The NYT, by comparison, isn't in much better shape, with an S&P rating of BBB-. Analysts expect that rating to drop following publication of one of the dumbest sentences I've ever read.