Dig­i­tal First wins Her­ald with bid of nearly $12M

Topped 2 other suit­ors

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By BRIAN DOWL­ING — brian.dowl­ing@boston­her­ald.com

Dig­i­tal First Me­dia won the Bos­ton Her­ald in a five-hour bankruptcy auc­tion with an $11.9 mil­lion bid that all but set­tles who will carry the news or­ga­ni­za­tion into the next chap­ter of the city’s rich me­dia his­tory.

The Den­ver-based com­pany fought off two other suit­ors — Gate­House Me­dia and Rev­o­lu­tion Cap­i­tal — yes­ter­day af­ter­noon in the 18th-floor of­fices of the Her­ald’s bankruptcy at­tor­neys, Brown Rud­nick.

Dig­i­tal First, which also goes by the name Me­di­aNews Group, owns the Low­ell Sun and the Fitch­burg Sentinel & En­ter­prise, as well as hun­dreds of pub­li­ca­tions across the coun­try, in­clud­ing The Den­ver Post, The Or­ange County Reg­is­ter in Ana­heim and the Mer­cury News of San Jose.

The news­pa­per com­pany’s op­er­a­tions chief, Guy Gil­more, said in a state­ment the com­pany is “pleased to have the op­por­tu­nity to be a part of the Bos­ton Her­ald through the next chap­ter of its sto­ried his­tory. The Her­ald is in­te­gral to the fab­ric of the great city of Bos­ton.”

The Her­ald en­tered into bankruptcy Dec. 8, when pub­lisher Pa­trick J. Pur­cell also an­nounced a deal with Gate­House to bid for the com­pany af­ter months of hunt­ing for buy­ers.

In a state­ment, Pur­cell said he was pleased that Gate­House’s ini­tial $5 mil­lion bid was more than dou­bled at auc­tion.

“I started this process with a prom­ise that I would do ev­ery­thing hu­manly pos­si­ble to avoid shut­ter­ing the unique and fear­less voice of the Bos­ton Her­ald, whose roots go back 172 years,” Pur­cell said.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate all of the time and ef­fort that went into ev­ery as­pect of this sale, from start to fin­ish,” Pur­cell said, “and am par­tic­u­larly grate­ful to Gate­House, Rev­o­lu­tion and Me­di­aNews Group for see­ing the great­ness in the peo­ple who put out the news ev­ery day at the Bos­ton Her­ald.”

Af­ter hours of back and forth at the auc­tion, the news­pa­per’s price dou­bled from the ini­tial bid. Rev­o­lu­tion Cap­i­tal was the first to drop out of the three, ac­cord­ing to Brian Whe­lan, pres­i­dent of the News­pa­per Guild of Greater Bos­ton, who was present for the pro­ceed­ing.

“It just kept es­ca­lat­ing af­ter that,” Whe­lan said, walk­ing out of the law of­fices af­ter the auc­tion. “The Her­ald is still alive.”

Whe­lan said Dig­i­tal First agreed to hire 175 of the Her­ald’s em­ploy­ees, and though the union has had cor­dial meet­ings with the com­pany, he’s wait­ing to hear more about the com­pany’s plan for the Her­ald and its em­ploy­ees.

“So, the devil is go­ing to be in the de­tails, and I don’t have any at the mo­ment,” Whe­lan added.

Dig­i­tal First’s bid is sub­ject to court ap­proval, and a hear­ing is set for Fri­day in fed­eral bankruptcy court in Delaware. The sale is set to close by Wed­nes­day, March 28.


EX­TRA, EX­TRA: The Bos­ton Her­ald was sold in a five-hour bankruptcy auc­tion yes­ter­day to Dig­i­tal First Me­dia. Pub­lisher Pa­trick J. Pur­cell, left, had owned the Her­ald since 1994.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.