Boston Herald files for bankruptcy, looking to sell newspaper unit

Boston Herald files for bankruptcy, looking to sell newspaper unit


The parent company of Boston Herald declared bankruptcy and is looking to sell one of its assets. The parent company of Boston Herald filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is currently making plans to sell its newspaper unit to Gatehouse Media LLC, a move that further highlights the struggle that traditional print journalism is facing.

The owner and publisher of the company Patrick Purcell made this announcement to the staff of the newspaper in a letter. He told his employees that a court-supervised sale was the best option for the Boston Herald, with the newspaper established as far back as 1846.

Purcell stated in his letter that “All I ever wanted to do was keep the Boston Herald alive. And it is with this pending sale that I am able to do that in these difficult newspapering times.” This was captured in the newspaper’s report of the sale and the bankruptcy filing.

Purcell further added that “I am certain this is the best pathway forward for you and for the newspaper we have nurtured together, in my case, for the last 33 years.”

The sale of the newspaper unit to Gatehouse which is a daily and weekly newspaper company in Massachusetts is currently awaiting court approval. The financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed though.

Parent company Boston Herald Inc. and Gatehouse weren’t available to comment on the latest development.

In their report of the sale bankruptcy filing, the newspaper stated that it had been “hindered like many other newspapers with significant pension and retirement liabilities as well as declining revenue with the onset of digital media and a growing variety of news originators and aggregators.”

Purcell purchased the newspaper in the 90’s from Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. At a certain time in 2000, the company had over 900 employees, now it is down to 240, with over half of that figure working in the newsroom.

The Boston Herald has a circulation of 64,500 further added that publishing would go on as usual as the parent company works out the final details of the sale.

The parent company filed for protection from its creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. In its motion, the company indicated that it has between 200 and 999 creditors, with assets and liabilities of each one between $10 million and $50 million.

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I handle much of news coverage for tech stocks, and occasionally cover companies in different sectors. In the past, I've written for other financial sites and published independent investment research, primarily on tech companies. I have a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University. I'm based out of San Diego, but grew up in Southern New Jersey. I play basketball and tennis in my spare time, am a long-time (and long-suffering) fan of Philadelphia's sports teams, and alternate daily between using an iPad Air, a Galaxy Note 3, and one or two Windows PCs.