February 8, 2018

Sentinel & Enterprise parent officially bids for Boston Herald

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The Sentinel & Enterprise offices on Main Street in downtown Fitchburg. The newspaper will leave at the end of the month, leaving its staff to work remotely.

The Colorado-based newspaper group that owns the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise has submitted a bid to purchase the Boston Herald via bankruptcy court, the Herald reported Thursday.

Although the bid was not reflected in court filings, the Herald reported the paper's lawyers confirmed the bid by MediaNews Group, the corporate name for Digital First.

Lawyers were reviewing the bid to determine if it qualifies for Tuesday's bankruptcy auction, the Herald reported.

Denver-based Digital First would be the third media group to submit a bid for the paper. GateHouse Media, which owns the Telegram & Gazette, MetroWest Daily News, the Providence Journal and several other local newspapers, was the first to submit a bid in December of $5 million.

Digital First already begun job interviews of Herald employees, the paper reported.

Los Angeles private equity company Revolution Media Group submitted a $5.75-million bid last month.

The paper filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 8 due to declining revenues and skyrocketing pension and severance liabilities.

The Herald reported a deal between its largest union to reject a collective bargaining agreement with the Newspaper Guild in exchange for job protections, with the buyer assuming paid time off and recognition of years of service to the paper.

Digital First's bid comes just months after the Sentinel & Enterprise Editor Charles St. Amand was laid off and just days after the paper announced that it would close its Fitchburg offices and have staff work remotely. Digital First also owns the Lowell Sun.

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