Interesting timing in that I just posted here on the blog about the large loss in readership suffered by the USA’s largest newspapers. The morning news (front page Yahoo) featured an article about both of Philadelphia’s largest newspapers being sold at auction after having declared bankruptcy.
The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News have both gone under, and are being offered up in a private auction held in New York City. Executives of Revlon are making a bid for the Philadelphia papers along with creditors and a Canadian investment firm.
Fox News reported that the two papers had accumulated $390 million in debt by February 2009 forcing the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The Philadelphia papers employ more than 4000 people in the area.
One has to wonder if the outcome would have been much different had the Philadelphia papers acquired and transitioned their companies to something like Philadelphia.com or Philadelphia.US. Boulevards New Media own Philadelphia.com, and Kraft Foods own Philadelphia.US. The missing ingredient is a premium city domain name.
Update 4/29/10: Bloomberg report that the auction concluded with both Philadelphia newspapers being acquired for $139 million by a group of lenders that included Angelo Gordon & Co. and a Credit Suisse Group AG unit. The sale must still be approved by a U.S. bankruptcy judge. The new owners have committed to preserving employees’ jobs.