Lawyers for the Sun-Times Media Group Inc. say the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing could result in either a restructuring or a sale.

A Delaware judge on Wednesday approved first-day motions in the case, allowing the Chicago-based owner of the Chicago Sun-Times to pay employees and vendors and use its existing cash management system.

A lawyer for the Sun-Times Group says its financial situation stems both from the legacy left by former Chairman Conrad Black, including back taxes that could total more than $600 million, and declining advertising revenue affecting much of the newspaper industry.

The Sun-Times Group, which listed $479 million in assets and $801 million in debt, is the fifth newspaper publisher to seek bankruptcy protection in recent months.