Labor Group Buys Chicago Sun-Times for Buck

Ivan Schwartz
July 15, 2017

Contractually, new Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath can not talk about the deal to buy the paper and other properties from Wrapports LLC, but the former alderman said the new owners including journalists, unions, financial people and others will be a subscription base and keep the Sun-Times vital.

Officials with ST Acquisition Holdings LLC, including former City Council member Edwin Eisendrath and representatives from the Chicago Federation of Labor, detailed the agreement at a news conference, billing themselves a "unique alliance" to preserve a newspaper that's faced financial troubles over the years. Ramirez continued, "Since its inception, the labor movement remains committed to raising people up and building strong communities". But a source involved in the transaction said the purchase price of Wrapports was only $1, the Sun-Times reported.

"This is a historic coalition of workers and like-minded investors who represent a cross section of the Chicago population, coming together with one common goal: to present independent media entities in Chicago and protect their journalistic integrity", said Jorge Ramirez, the head of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Tronc said in a statement it expects the new Sun-Times owners to honor the printing and distribution deal.

Tronc also owns the Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, Baltimore Sun and other local newspapers around the country.

The deal will "garner a lot of attention" by labor unions and companies going forward, Bruno said. Eisendrath has previously said the investor group had raised about $15 million. The studio, digital communications company Answers Media, was purchased separately.

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"The additional acquisition of Answers Media will allow us to expand and contemporize these channels with high-quality multimedia content and innovative technology solutions that will attract a broad audience of new readers and advertising partners", he said.

The move will save the Sun-Times an unspecified amount that Eisendrath termed "significant".

A message for Chicago-based Wrapports LLC, which owned the Sun-Times, wasn't immediately returned.

The proposal drew scrutiny from the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, which said the merger of the two daily newspapers in Chicago would raise significant antitrust concerns. The company does not now own an interest in any other newspaper, the DOJ said.

Chicago Sun-Times, the city's oldest continuously published daily and victor of eight Pulitzer prizes, has been sold to an investor group, reportedly for $1.

ST Acquisition didn't disclose details of the deal, including the complete list of investors.

Other reports by GizPress

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