Today's the Deadline For 'Sun-Times' Parent Bids

By: E&P Staff If anyone besides the group put together by Chicago financier Jim Tyree is interested in buying the Chicago Sun-Times and its 57 sibling papers, they have until the close of business today to let the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware know.

Tyree's bid for Sun-Times Media Group -- an offer of $5 million in cash plus the assumption of about $22 million in liabilities -- is the only one that has so far been made public. That stalking-horse bid started the auction process, which concludes at 5 p.m. Monday.

But the Chicago Newspaper Guild has said it has been in contact with another party that might be interested in bidding. As of Monday morning, no other bidder had emerged.

Over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune reported in a story by Michael Oneal and Julie Johnsson that Tribune Co., publisher of the rival Chicago Tribune, was not likely to bid for Sun-Times Media Group. According to unnamed sources, Tribune had considered bidding for some of its suburban Chicago community papers, but concluded it would not be worth a bid.

Tribune Co. is also in Bankruptcy Court trying to construct a reorganization plan.

Tyree's solo bid is complicated by the group's demands for significant contract concessions from the 18 unions who represent workers at various Sun-Times Media Group properties. Those demands include making permanent a temporary 15% compensation cut agreed to at the beginning of the summer plus, for some unions, drastic changes in work and jurisdictional rules.

Over the weekend, two trade unions, the mailers and platemakers, agreed to the concessions, bringing the total number of unions to back the contract changes to seven. Five units of the Guild have rejected concessions, while four unions have yet to vote.

Without the concessions, Tyree has said, he will not close on a sale of Sun-Times Media Group.


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