Mayor Art Ward said the other day that he is "cautiously optimistic" that The Bristol Press will survive a January 12 deadline set by its corporate owners.
Ward said he spoke recently with the mayor of New Britain, where The Herald also faces closure, about what could be done to save both papers.
"We're both hoping that something can come to fruition" in time to preserve the historic dailies, Ward said.
Ward said he recognizes that is "highly unlikely" the Press "would be in the format it is today" if it manages to find a new owner or a new way to operate in time to avoid shutting down entirely.
Ward said that he was contacted last week by someone representing an unidentified potential buyer for the paper, which he hopes might lead somewhere.
He said that his aim is to do whatever he can "to keep the printed media in print form" to the degree possible for the long haul.
One alternative, the mayor said, is for the Press to publish less than seven days a week. For decades, it was a six day a week paper, adding a Sunday edition only in 1996 that many readers never liked.
Ward said he hopes that people will keep trying to think of ways the paper might stay open.
"The more scenarios that are presented, the more likely" that one will "arrive at a solution" that keeps the community's daily publishing.
The mayor said he's spoken with Press Editor Bill Sarno and many others "to get the message out of our willingness" to help foster a solution that would keep the paper alive.
"It wouldn't be responsible of me to shrink back into the woodwork," Ward said.*******
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