CanWest’s second-quarter loss ballons to $1.44 Billion

CanWest Global Communications reported a ballooning second-quarter loss of $1.44 Billion today after taking a $1.19 Billion writedown and said the outlook for advertising revenue remains grim. CanWest, which owns the Global TV network as well as a stable of dailies across Canada, is struggling with a debt load of about $3.7 Billion.

The company continues to negotiate with banks to restructure the debt amid speculation that it may have to file for bankruptcy protection. In the immediate future, the company faces a US $30.4 Million interest payment on its 8% senior subordinated notes. It has already missed the payment once and if it fails to make it by April 14th, the note holders can demand payment of about US $761 Million of principal.

In November, CanWest cut 560 jobs at its newspapers and television stations to slash costs and cope with the advertising slowdown. In January CanWest took it a step further and urged employees to cut costs.

CanWest shares closed at 32 Canadian cents today. The stock has lost more than 90% of its value in the last 12 months.