Family-owned Brown Publishing Co. files for bankruptcy, has publications in 10 states

CINCINNATI (AP) — Newspaper publishers Brown Media Holdings Co. and Brown Publishing Co. have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief and plan to sell their assets in 10 states to a bidder the companies have chosen.

The Cincinnati-based, family-owned businesses filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, asking for approval of $2.5 million in financing to help the companies through bankruptcy.

The companies said in a news release that the unnamed bidder will assume a substantial portion of their liabilities. They said they have strong cash balances, positive operating cash flows and financing in place to finance the bankruptcy process.

The sale involves all the companies' assets in Ohio, New York, Texas, South Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Wyoming. Filings said the companies publish 15 daily newspapers, 32 weekly newspapers, 11 business publications and 41 free newspapers, shoppers or niche publications. Most are in Ohio.

Among the companies' newspapers are The Delaware Gazette in central Ohio and the Piqua Daily Call, the Troy Daily News and the Wilmington News Journal in western Ohio. Other subsidiaries named in the filings are Utah Business Publishers LLC, Texas Business News LLC, Texas Community Newspapers Inc., Upstate Business News LLC, and Boulder Business Information LLC.

President and Chief Executive Roy Brown said the decision was difficult for the family and shareholders and was made to help ensure the businesses are "best positioned to prosper in the years ahead."

"Over the past two years, our employees have battled the effects of an unprecedented economic and financial crisis with inspirational grit and determination," he said. "It is with their interests pre-eminently in mind that we have pursued this course."

Newspapers, which get the bulk of their revenue from advertisements, have been struggling in the economic recession and from reliance by news consumers on websites and other non-print resources. Brown is the latest among several publishers that filed for bankruptcy protection.

Brown Publishing attorney and Vice President Joel Dempsey did not immediately return a message seeking comment Saturday.


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