New Owner in Connecticut Delivers to Oldest Subscribers to Promote Sale

By: Joe Strupp

In a move coinciding with the purchase of two former Journal Register papers in Connecticut, new owner Michael Schroeder personally delivered Monday’s copies of the two papers to their longest-known subscribers.

Schroeder, who finalized the purchase of The Herald of New Britain and The Bristol Press on Friday, dropped off Monday’s copy of the Press to a 60-year subscriber, and the Herald to someone who has reportedly taken the paper for 70 years.

He then told them they would receive the papers free for a year.

“I went out separately from the regular carriers and we had spoken to them in advance so we knew they would be home, and so they wouldn?t be scared,” said Schroeder. “We gave them the paper and a free year’s subscription.”

Schroeder has declined to reveal the purchase price for the two dailies and three weeklies, which he purchased from Journal Register Company. That deal was announced earlier this month and followed Journal Register’s threat that it would close the two dailies if they weren?t sold. The company still owns three other daily newspapers in Connecticut.

Schroeder has said he received most of the financing from a lone, anonymous source, and continued to withhold the identity on Monday. He also maintains that he has received no state aid or tax breaks, which were the subject of scrutiny when they were first discussed in late 2008.

“We are still looking for possible tax breaks or some low-interest financing for expansion and rehab, we have some old buildings here,” he said.

Schroeder added that layoffs are likely later this year, but did not say how many. “We are trying to keep most of the staff together,” he added. “We will have some layoffs because we are trying to do some consolidating.”

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