From the kafkaesque intersection of modern journalism and business: there was one bidder for the Journal Register Company -- the parent company of the Troy Record and the Saratogian -- at its bankruptcy auction last week. That company: an "affiliate" of Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that already owns Journal Register. [Saratogian] [AP/Washington Post]
That was pretty much the plan when the company filed for bankruptcy (again) last fall: to wash the company through bankruptcy in an effort to rid itself of legacy obligations -- like leases and pensions. [John Paton blog]
So. It's not exactly the most confidence-inducing time for employees of the company. And then this happens: everyone got termination notices. From a Saratogian article by editor Barbara Lombardo:
This does not mean there will be changes in the operation or staffing of The Saratogian, The Record, the Community News or other Journal Register Company properties. Changes, if any, will be up to the new owners.
The termination notices were mailed to every employee in the company in accordance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act -- commonly called the WARN Act -- which requires most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor website.
In this case, once the sale is complete, the purchaser will contact current Journal Register Company employees about its staffing decisions. Journal Register Company officials said they hope to complete the sale on or about April 17.
Update: Here's the notice filed with New York State.
Said a JRC VP to the (Litchfield County, CT) Register Citizen (itself a JRC paper): "Journal Register Company's leadership team cannot speak on behalf of the new owner, but has continually expressed to the purchaser that a competent and competitive workforce is critical to the Company's success moving forward."
Earlier and elsewhere:
+ Parent company of Saratogian, Record files for bankruptcy. Again. (2012)
+ Nieman Lab: Journal Register Co. declares bankruptcy... again: Is this the industry's first real reboot? (2012)
+ Poynter: Newspaper investor [and Alden Global Capital founder] Randy Smith breaks silence to speak up for Gannett
+ Back in 2011 the NY Post called Smith the "grandfather of vulture investing"
image: Troy Record
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