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*** UPDATED x1 *** Sun-Times sale appears to move forward

Wednesday, Jul 12, 2017

* Chicago Public Radio

A union-backed bid to buy the Chicago Sun-Times is moving forward, according to sources involved in the deal.

Wrapports, which owns the newspaper, had given the union-backed group a Monday deadline to put “north of $11 million” in an escrow account, according to Bill Brandt, a restructuring expert and one of the private investors on board with the bid.

“The money is there,” Brandt said late Monday. “I believe there will be a transfer of ownership.”

That money is not the sale price of the paper, Brandt said.

“The real issue was what does it take to make sure that you can operate the paper and pay off its obligations in the future,” he said.

The sale price has been reported as being a dollar.

* Sun-Times

The potential ownership group includes several local labor unions, including the CFL, and about eight individual investors, including corporate restructuring expert Bill Brandt.

“I think it’s a worthwhile challenge,” Brandt said. “It’s a money-losing venture, but this is one of those things where you take a gulp and you do it for the good of the city. Chicago needs two newspapers.”

Eisendrath and Brandt declined to identify the other investors, but Brandt said the group included several people “well-known in the political scene.” […]

On Tuesday, Sun-Times publisher and editor-in-chief Jim Kirk sent an email to his staff that reminded them, “…This is not the last step in the process. The parties continue to negotiate to see if a deal can be completed. In addition, the offer from Tronc still remains active.”

*** UPDATE ***  Done deal?

An investment group led by former Chicago Ald. Edwin Eisendrath along with a coalition of labor unions is poised to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Reader, Eisendrath and others familiar with the transaction said on Wednesday.

The deal was expected to be completed by Thursday morning, with a press conference to take place at some point that day.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    Hmm…if they sale price really is $1 then I bid tree fiddy.

  2. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    What ever happened to non biased news reporting.

  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    Sorry, Curl. It’s one dollar plus assumption of debt. Like, 8 figures of debt.

  4. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Should be fun. These investors are far from neutral politically. In a battle of the dollar bigs in Illinois, though, Dems are way outnumbered.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Since Tronc prints the paper and delivers it what happens when they decide not to anymore

  6. - Leon Despres - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    Generic Drone & walker

    There’s a big difference between news reporting and editorial. I’d love you to find me a paper company whose editorial staff and parent company and its owners are “neutral politically”. Sun-Times has some solid reporting staff and I don’t expect a change in ownership will affect their willingness to report the news; let’s just hope this change of hands gives them the resources they need to do it. Anyways, Sun-Times reporters are union members as it is.

  7. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    As Roger Ebert once wrote, there’s a feisty spirit at the Sun-Times that seemingly can’t be killed - even in the dark days of Murdoch and Conrad Black. The Tribune often poached their writers, but they were never the same after switching (Rokyo (yeah, Daily News, but still), Deeb, Rosenthal, Bosenbloom, etc.)). I want our town to have both a Mark Brown and a John Kass.

    Anyway, good luck to them - and please keep the USA Today material: you shouldn’t be able to fold a newspaper into your front pocket.

  8. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    My fingers are crossed that this goes through. Depriving Ferro and Tronc from having a news monopoly is critical.

    As for the question about bias, are you kidding me with that? Have you seen the Trib, errr, Rauner Publishing? Those guys have endorsed exactly one Democrat for president in 150 years. This kind of owner will undoubtedly give me fits, but it’s desperately needed.

  9. - Texas Red - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    Turf writer Dave Feldman was a gem; The Sun-Times was never the same after he passed. All us BDH truly miss him.

  10. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.

    Maybe there is a God.

  11. - plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Hope the union members will support the presumed used of their pension dollars in a risky bet.

  12. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    Edwin Eisendrath. Oh my.

  13. - SAP - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    In Jimmy Stewart voice, shouting at Tronc: This town needs the Sun-Times so it doesn’t have to come crawling to the likes of you. (Exclamation point).

  14. - cdog - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    “A union-backed bid to buy the Chicago Sun-Times”

    This seems very strange. From what part of the union enterprise does this payola come?

    Dues? Pension? Do members have a say?

    This seems to be an enterprise (MSM) which would be operating at a great distance outside of any union charter documents.

  15. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    ==From what part of the union enterprise does this payola come?==

    From the part that’s not being invested with Rauner/private equity?

  16. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    ==Since Tronc prints the paper and delivers it what happens when they decide not to anymore==

    Dude, they don’t do these things for free. What makes you think they would decide they don’t need this revenue anymore?

  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 7:55 pm:

    –Hope the union members will support the presumed used of their pension dollars in a risky bet.–

    Well, public union pension funds, through grave-dancer Oaktree Capital Management, did share a controlling interest in Tribune Company for some time after bankruptcy until they could chop it up for sale.

    They obviously didn’t interfere in editorial decisions during those times.

  18. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Jul 12, 17 @ 9:09 pm:

    Deal closed (exclamation point)
    Hallelujah (exclamation point)

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