Turnaround Tuesday: Struggling Salon Media Looks to Raise Capital


Salon Media Group Inc. is looking to raise additional capital, either through debt or equity securities.

New York-based Salon operates Salon.com, which covers breaking news, politics, culture, technology and entertainment through news bureaus in San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C.

The company has been operating at a loss since it was founded in 1995 and had a $119.5 million deficit as of June 30, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Salon is expecting losses to continue for fiscal year 2014, causing the media group's accountant Burr Pilger Mayer Inc. to doubt Salon’s ability to continue as a going concern, or without the threat of liquidation, in the company's latest annual report.

Although Salon expects operating losses to continue through 2015, the group anticipates they will decrease. The company has been running on cash from related parties, including John Warnock, the co-founder of Adobe and Salon's chairman, and William Hambrecht, a director and the father of former CEO and interim financial officer Elizabeth Hambrecht, to meet working capital requirements.

The company said in a September SEC filing that it is seeking to raise additional capital, either through public or private offerings of debt or equity securities, but that there is no guarantee financing will be available.

On Oct. 31, Salon filed with the SEC to register 10 million shares of common stock that would be offered to employees through a benefit or incentive plan.

Salon's revenue for the 12 months ended June 30 was $6 million, a 65 percent increase from the 12 months ended March 31, primarily due to an increase in advertising sales. The company's main revenue source is advertising, which made up 92 percent of its revenues in fiscal 2014.

The company has also reduced losses – experiencing a $2.2 million loss for the 12 months ended March 31-- down 48 percent from the previous 12 months.

In Salon's Aug. 14 quarterly report, the company says that traffic to the website has been increasing. The company has experienced two years of audience growth – citing 290 percent overall traffic growth, 549 percent mobile browser growth, 733 percent social media growth

For more on Salon, see Struggling Salon Tries to Increase Revenue

For the previous edition of Turnaround Tuesday, see Struggling Bio-Threat Detection Group PositiveID Raises Working Capital

For more struggling companies, see Mergers & Acquisitions Distressed Company Watch List

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