Philadelphia Newspapers Sell Falls Through, Heads Back to Auction

The planned sell of Philadelphia Newspapers to Philadelphia Media Network fell through today due to a union dispute, according to Bloomberg.
The group of investors set to purchase Philadelphia Newspapers, which owns The Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and, had until noon today to sign new labor contracts for the 16 unions working within the group of papers. The delivery drivers union represented by the Teamsters could not agree to terms with Philadelphia Media Network by noon so the lenders in the deal had the option to step away from the purchase. The lenders chose to do just that.

This means the Philadelphia Newspapers will head back to auction on September 23, in order to find a new buyer to step up, according to a source speaking with the Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network told the Inquirer it would bid again on the group of newspapers, if the company goes back to auction.

The bankruptcy judge overseeing the proceedings needs to approve the new auction date, and will hold a hearing later today to decide the next step. The Teamsters were the only group out of the 16 unions to not accept the new labor agreement.

Update: Judge Stephen Raslavich approved the plan to hold another auction for September 23.