Philadelphia newspapers unlikely to close now

    Doesn’t appear the deal will fall through, but will the new owners need a deal with the Teamsters to close?

    The creditors who are trying to take over two Philadelphia newspapers have hit a snag. The group’s offer at an April bankruptcy auction hinges on labor agreements and over the weekend the drivers’ union rejected a contract proposal. With the contract unresolved, it looks unlikely the parties will meet Tuesday’s deadline.

    The parties were expected to appear in court to try to finish buying the papers. Settling all the contracts has been a problem and a judge only scheduled this latest deadline after granting the parties two extra weeks to hammer out the remaining union contracts.

    Rick Edmonds is the media business analyst at the Poynter Institute.

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    “It’s potentially an escape clause if the new owners want out, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. But my general view is, as bankruptcies progress – and this one has at least tentatively been settled with an auction – that there’s sort of a drive to get them to completion.”

    Edmonds says there’s a good chance the judge will give the parties more time to work out the remaining union issues.

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