More details to follow, but state officials said today that at least five potential buyers have emerged for The Bristol Press and New Britain Herald. It's less clear if they're interested in the 11 weeklies threatened with closure.
One possible purchaser met this morning with the mayors of Bristol and New Britain.
"We are pretty optimistic that this might materialize," said Mayor Timothy Stewart of New Britain. "The prospects are pretty good that somebody will save these local papers."
Bristol's mayor, Art Ward, said he's excited about the prospect of a buyer emerging soon.
The five are "very much interested in doing something," said state Rep. Frank Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat.
"Hopefully this will amount to somehting in the very near future," Stewart said.
State Rep.-elect Chris Wright of Bristol said he hopes it works out because losing the papers would be a blow to democracy.
"How can you have a free press if there's no press?" Wright asked.
State Sen. Tom Colapietro, a Bristol Democrat, said he's more encouraged about the papers staying alive than he was after the Dec. 12 session between lawmakers and state economic development leaders.
"I feel better today than I did two weeks ago," Colapietro said.
At this point, it is clear that no deal has been struck. But perhaps we'll find out something solid in the days ahead.
In any case, I'll have more on here later this afternoon.
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