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Murdoch Bid Wins Bankrupt N.Y. Post

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Murdoch Bid Wins Bankrupt N.Y. Post

Article excerpt

A U.S. BANKRUPTCY judge has approved the bid by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to buy back the New York Post.

Despite opposition from creditors and the Newspaper Guild, judge Burton R. Lifland said, "There really is no other alternative."

The transaction, scheduled to close by Sept. 30, was valued at $25 million. It calls for a $2.7 million cash payment, the assumption of liabilities owed to employees and repayment of $11 million that News Corp. has advanced to subsidize $1.5 million in monthly losses.

Murdoch has run the paper since March under a management agreement with bankrupt owner Peter Kalikow, who had turned it over twice before to management groups whose calamitous tenures nearly killed the feisty tabloid.

The deal is contingent on ratification of contracts with 10 of the Post's 11 unions. The Newspaper Guild Local 3, the paper's largest and only union without a tentative agreement, is continuing to negotiate, but News Corp. executive vice president and general counsel Arthur M. Siskind said the takeover would proceed even without a Guild agreement.

The Guild says Murdoch's demand for the right to fire members will destroy the union and all job security.

The Post's creditors opposed the bid on the ground that creditors would receive no more than 5 [cents] per dollar owed.

Murdoch representatives said agreements with the craft unions would save $6 million a year and Murdoch plans to spend $3 million on capital improvements and $4 million to buy out employees. …

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