To nobody's surprise, the former owner of The Bristol Press -- a Yardley, Penn. company whose name I won't repeat again -- has filed for bankruptcy.
The company still owns several Connecticut papers, including The New Haven Register, The Register-Citizen in Torrington, The West Hartford News and the The Middletown Press, along with Connecticut magazine.
Personally, I hope the courts force it to sell all of its remaining properties under judicial supervision so that it can't simply close them as it has done to scores of historic newspapers in the past several months.
The Bristol Press would have been among those shuttered save for a federal law that forced it to disclose plans to close the paper, the fuss that we created to save the paper and the miraculous appearance of Michael Schroeder just after the holidays to step in and buy us. He's already proving that competent, caring management would have made all the difference all along.
One thing I am sure about is that the now bankrupt company that ran the Press into the ground for 15 years should be tossed on the ash heap of history. There's no point in restructuring it. Let the evil, awful enterprise die.
Its only purpose now is to serve as an object lesson for business students in how not to run a company.
Update at 10:15, Saturday night -- The bankruptcy papers make me want to throw up. They make it painfully clear that "31 key employees" with the former owner raked in tens of thousands of dollars for making significan reductions in headcounts. They didn't give a damn about the papers they closed, the communities served, or the workers they tossed out of jobs.
It's absolutely revolting. They had no incentive at all to sell the papers so, of course, almost none were sold. This ought to be a crime. See this PDF for details
I'll have much more to say after I have time to read through all of these filings carefully.
Oh, hell, I'm talking about the Journal Register Co. If I don't mention it, nobody will see what I write about it when they're searching Google for every tidbit.
See Reflections of a Newsosaur's writeup today, which shows the JRC has closed 163 newspapers since the end of 2007. If nothing else, the company will go down in history as the biggest newspaper killer ever.
Paul Bass in The New Haven Independent lays out the details of bonuses for laying people off, a practice that seems so outrageous it ought to be against the law.
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