Writing Company News
Before the Internet, it was tough to convince some publicly traded companies to provide copies of their SEC filings to reporters. Many companies knew that if you were not in Washington, DC or New York, it was often hard to get your hands on these documents. Services that would make copies of filings and mail them to newsrooms typically charged $25 a pop. For many penny-pinching newspapers, that was a lot of money for a boring regulatory filing that may—or may not— contain news that would end up in the paper.
Never, however, did a business editor object to spending the money on a Form 8-K filing. That is because Form 8-Ks contain more actual news than any other form companies file with the SEC. In legal lingo, a Form 8-K is a "current event report" for a "materially important" occurrence in the life of a corporation. This means that the 8-K may disclose just about anything. An event that requires disclosure is documented under one of the following categories: change in control, acquisition or disposition of assets, bankruptcy-court filing, change in accounting firm, resignation of directors, financial statements and exhibits, change in fiscal year, waiver of a company's code of ethics for an executive, suspension of trading