Not the Way to Run a Company: Ascend to File Chapter 7

Ascend Media logoPublisher Ascend Media Holdings has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation under the US bankruptcy code.  The Overland Park, KS-based trade publisher is what’s left of a once large company of about $150 million in revenue.

Ascend was originally founded in 2002.  The 2004 acquisition of publisher World Communications for $130 million put the company on the map, but also broke its back.  To stay afloat, Ascend sold off its 17-title Professional Service Division, shut down three titles (PHYSICIANS MONEY DIGEST, FAMILY PRACTICE RECERTIFICATION, INTERNAL MEDICINE WORLD REPORT), divested its four-title dental group and sold EXPO magazine to Red 7 Media all in 2007.  In February 2008, Ascend sold its Princeton, NJ-based Ascend Health division to Intellisphere.  The custom media division was acquired in September by Cameron Bishop, a former CEO, who bought the brand name Ascend Media and its logo/trademark and now operates the similarly titled Ascend Integrated Media LLC.

The original company, Ascend Media Holdings, now carries nearly $15 million in liabilities compared to only $25,000 in estimated assets.  Ascend said it has between 100 and 199 creditors, the majority being unsecured non-priority claims and indicated that after any exempt property is excluded and administrative expenses are paid that “there will be no funds available for distribution to unsecured creditors.”

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