Reader’s Indigestion

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Reader’s Digest and friends are in serious pain. Will their prescription work?

By Dave Jamieson and Jeff Horwitz, The Big Money

Even in Pleasantville, the news gets bleaker by the quarter. Back in the fall, the Reader’s Digest Association, the publishing and direct-marketing behemoth based in the Westchester County hamlet, posted an operating loss of $337 million for fiscal 2008. After a steady stream of credit-rating downgrades, Moody’s placed the company on “The Bottom Rung”—its list of companies most likely to default on their debt. And earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that RDA had retained Kirkland & Ellis’ bankruptcy practice to “explore” restructuring options, including bankruptcy.

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