Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Group Puts 'Chicago Sun-Times,' Other Papers Up for Sale

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Group Puts 'Chicago Sun-Times,' Other Papers Up for Sale

Article excerpt

Under pressure from investors -- and a perfect storm of self-inflicted wounds amid an industry turndown -- the Sun-Times Media Group (STMG) announced Monday it is "exploring strategic alternatives," including the sale of its flagship Chicago Sun-Times and about 100 Chicago-area dailies and community papers.

STMG said its board was studying alternatives including "joint ventures or strategic partnerships with third parties, and/or the sale of the Company or any or all of its assets."

Overseeing the possible auction will be a committee composed of directors Gordon Paris, Graham Savage and Raymond Seitz, who will chair the group.

"Sun-Times Media Group is very fortunate to have a solid portfolio of publications and websites that deliver the highest quality journalism to the communities we serve and great value to our advertisers," observed CEO Cyrus F. Freidheim Jr.

There was a certain inevitability to the sale, which in the past had been held up by an unknown tax liability from both the United States and Canada that amounted to "poison pill" for any buyer.

STMG was once known as Hollinger International, and headed by Conrad Black and a coterie of executives who have been convicted on federal fraud charges of pocketing phony non-compete fees from the mass sell-off of its many newspapers.

Black is to start his 6 1/2-year sentence on March 8 on charges he improperly appropriated about $3.5 million in non-compete fees from the sale of some former American Publishing Co. …

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