In 2005, WTTW’s proposed preschool literacy show Word World was a surprise recipient of more than $7 million in Ready to Learn funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The perky program premiered on PBS in 2007, and went on to win three Emmy Awards.
On Thursday (Feb. 10), Word World LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Reuters is reporting the company has liabilities of more than $10 million, including a $3.3 million convertible note and unpaid debts to animation and production studios. It has secured lines of credit allowing it to continue operations while it restructures.
“It’s the classic story of a great company with a bad balance sheet that ran out of time,” said Don Moody, c.e.o. of Word World LLC.
Word World revenue comes from merchandising and licensing deals from more than 100 foreign countries where the show is aired, Moody said.