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Times Herald, Other Local Papers Await Bankruptcy Sale

Journal Register Company, which owns six daily newspapers in the Philadelphia region, filed for bankruptcy in September. The new owner may not retain all the current employees.

The Times Herald of Norristown, the Pottstown Mercury, and the Lansdale Reporter will have a new owner in April, pending a judge's approval of the company's bankruptcy sale.

The Associated Press reports that Journal Register Company has sought a judge's approval to be purchased by 21st CMH Acquisition Co., an affiliate of current owner Alden Capital, for about $120 million.

21st CMH Acquisition Co. was the sole bidder in an auction to purchase the Bucks County-based company, which filed for bankruptcy last September. The company had previously filed for bankruptcy in 2009. CEO John Paton cited onerous building leases and other "legacy obligations" as a factor in the most recent bankruptcy filing.

Citing an article in the New Haven Register, Journal Register Company's flagship newspaper, Crain's Business reports that 21st CMH Acquisition Co. “will decide which of the company's employees it wants to retain” as the sale moves forward.

One of the company's Philadelphia-area papers, the Delaware County Times, reported that the company's employees had all received termination notices as required under state law. A company spokesperson told the paper that there will not necessarily be changes in staffing at any of its newspapers.

The company publishes 19 daily newspapers in 10 states, including six in the greater Philadelphia region.

It also owns Montgomery Media, the Fort Washington-based publisher of 15 weekly newspapers in Montgomery County and adjacent areas.

The sale is expected to be completed by April 17. John Paton, CEO of Journal Register Company, said in announcing the most recent bankruptcy in early September that he expected the auction and sale process to take about 90 days.

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