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Friday, November 6, 
10:12 pm

Ziff Davis makes a silent exit

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ziffpubs.jpgWe're going to let you in on a little secret: Ziff Davis Media Inc. has, in fact, exited from bankruptcy protection. The New York-based publisher emerged from Chapter 11 on July 1 as expected, but forgot to tell anyone.

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It's surprising that a media-savvy company such as Ziff would drop the ball. Since filing for Chapter 11 in New York on March 5, Ziff has done a good job staying out in front of its bankruptcy with a series of press releases announcing virtually every milestone in the case. Chief executive officer Jason Young has even made himself available to the press, a rarity for the head of a bankrupt company.

But last we heard from Ziff, the company announced on June 18 that the Manhattan court had confirmed its prenegotiated reorganization plan. In the press release, Ziff said it "currently expects to emerge from Chapter 11 on July 1, 2008."

Bankrupt companies, even those not as forthcoming with the press as Ziff, routinely announce that when their bankruptcy exit becomes effective. Sometimes it's the first announcement they make.

But not Ziff. The company looked to its June 18 press release as its official exit announcement, according to Young, who confirmed Wednesday that Ziff had in fact emerged from bankruptcy on July 1.

"We did communicate [our exit] to our customers and vendors," said Young, who noted that the confirmation of Ziff's Chapter 11 plan, which the company announced, was the most important part of the bankruptcy.

Under that plan, confirmed on June 17, Ziff's senior bondholders walked away with 90% of the company's reorganized equity in a debt-for-equity swap. - John Blakeley

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