Judge paves way for Journal Register Co. sale

A New York City bankruptcy court judge Thursday rejected union objections to the Journal Register Co.'s sale of its assets to 21st CMH Acquisition Corp., an affiliate of its current owner.

Judge Stuart Bernstein said that objections raised to the sale by the Newspaper Guild, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, only applied to the existing contracts that the union has with two JRC newspapers in the Detroit area, said Carol Rothman, the Guild's secretary and treasurer.

The union represents business units of seven JRC newspapers in suburban Philadelphia, Trenton, N.J., Kingston, N.Y., and the pair in the Detroit area, Rothman said, but only the Michigan publications had contract language that Bernstein spent additional time reviewing.

The deal that 21st CMH Acquisition Corp. struck calls for the company to acquire certain JRC assets in return for $114 million in debt and at least $6 million in cash, according to Bloomberg News.

The New Haven Register is JRC's flagship newspaper. JRC also owns several other Connecticut publications, including Connecticut Magazine, The Register Citizen of Torrington and The Middletown Press.

Rothman said Bernstein will schedule another hearing to determine when the deal between JRC and 21st CMH Acquisition Corp. can be completed.

A letter sent in February to all JRC employees, including 285 in Connecticut, said that when 21st CMH takes over, the new company will determine which employees it wants to hire.


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