Unidentified Buyer Emerges for ‘East Valley Tribune’

By: E&P Staff

An unidentified bidder has emerged for the East Valley Tribune, bankrupt Freedom Communications said over the weekend.

In a story in the Pulitzer Prize-winning paper by Ed Taylor, Tribune Publisher Julie Moreno said Freedom had received a letter of intent to purchase the Phoenix, Ariz., newspaper.

Moreno said Freedom intends to seek approval from the bankruptcy judge overseeing its Chapter 11 filing to complete the sale by the end of the year.

In a conference call with employees from Freedom’s headquarters in Irvine, Calif., Moreno said the buyer has indicated that it plans to keep a “substantial” number of Tribune employees.

In a conference call with Tribune employees Friday from Freedom headquarters in Irvine, Calif., Moreno said the unidentified buyer has said it intends to continue publishing the printed newspaper and its Web operations. Moreno said the Tribune’s printing press and other production equipment will be part of the sale, but it might not inlcude the newspaper’s offices and real estate in downtown Mesa.

Freedom had announced its intention to close the paper at the end of the year.

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