Source Interlink, the mega-publishing firm that owns Automobile, Motor Trend, Hot Rod and dozens of other enthusiast print and web titles, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Wilmington, Delaware court yesterday. According to the filing, Source Interlink has a listed debt of $1.9 billion and assets amounting to $2.4 billion, and in a statement from Greg Mays, Source's CEO said "This restructuring will materially reduce our interest expense and debt levels."

The filing comes at a time when first quarter advertising revenue in magazines has plummeted by 20% compared to last year, and the pinch began to be felt by enthusiasts late in 2008 when Source Interlink killed off Sport Compact Car and Turbo and High Tech Performance, two of the company's most respected – although recently unprofitable – titles. It's unclear how the restructuring will affect the 75 publications, 90 websites and other media outlets under the Source Interlink banner, but it's safe to assume that more titles will likely be dropped, consolidated, or otherwise restructured in the future as the company attempts to right a ship that's been sinking for the last few years.


[Source: Bloomberg]