Philly papers to be auctioned off tomorrow

    The auction will end the 14-month long bankruptcy process that has left employees of Philadelphia Media Holdings on pins and needles.

    The auction will end the 14-month long bankruptcy process that has left employees of Philadelphia Media Holdings on pins and needles.

    The current management of the papers has launched a public relations campaign to keep ownership local. And the majority of the unions are rooting for CEO Brian Tierney and his group of regional investors to prevail.  John Laigaie is the president of Teamsters Local 628, which represents about 375 drivers, building employees and security officers. Laigaie says his membership wants local ownership.

    “All these owners have to get a return but at least they’re trying to keep the newspapers at some level while they keep the employee compensation at some level.  Whereas it looks like the outside lenders are gonna come in here, and yeah they’re gonna face the reality of what they need to make. But they’re also gonna want to make more and more and more. And that’s pretty tough in this business today,” Laigaie says.

    But the Newspaper Guild, which represents reporters, editors and other professionals at the paper, has stayed neutral on who should own the papers. Daily News Columnist Dan Gross is president of the Guild. Gross says the membership is eager to clear up the uncertainty.

    “It’s been very frustrating and confusing and stories about this is going to happen, that is going to happen,” says Gross. “I kinda get the sense that people just want it to be over. I wouldn’t say I’m scared about Tuesday’s action, I’m eager to see what happens.”

    Gross plans to be at the auction on Tuesday in New York City.

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