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Bankrupt Gazette parent to sell Arizona newspapers

Fri, Sep 18, 2009

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As I speculated, the Gazette’s bankrupt parent company, Freedom Communications, has begun the process of shedding assets.

The East Valley Tribune reported yesterday:

“Freedom Communications, parent company of the East Valley Tribune, has asked a bankruptcy court judge to allow the company to hire a broker in order to pursue the possible sale of the Tribune and several other Valley publications it owns.

The filing is part of the ongoing proceedings related to Freedom’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing earlier this month to allow a restructuring of the company’s debt.

Officials for Freedom, based in Irvine, Calif., would only confirm that the filing seeking a broker took place. A potential buyer was not specified.

In addition to the Tribune, Freedom publishes the Sun City Daily News-Sun, Ahwatukee Foothills News and the Clipper coupon booklet in the Phoenix area. The company also publishes the Yuma Sun.”

Our sister publication, the Arizona Capitol Times, had earlier revealed that negotiations concerning a possible sale were under way prior to the bankruptcy filing. Whether this possible deal signals the beginning of a fall fire sale, with dozens of Freedom’s marginal properties on the block, or whether it’s just the continuation of business as usual should be clear within a few weeks.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to buy a nice mid-market daily, just call Freedom Communications. They’re in the book…

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