December 8, 2017

Owner of T&G, MetroWest Daily News buys Boston Herald

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The Herald's offices in Boston's Seaport neighborhood. The newspaper has shrunk considerably since its peak in 2000.

GateHouse Media, the owner of the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham and dozens of papers across Massachusetts, has reached an agreement to buy the Boston Herald, the Herald announced late Friday.

The Herald said it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to maximize the value of the company and its assets. The paper said it had "significant pension and retirement liabilities" and declining revenue that has hit much of the journalism industry for years.

The sale agreement to GateHouse may not be definite. Bankruptcy Court requires the Herald to hold an auction to allow potential buyers an opportunity to submit competing offers, the tabloid newspaper acknowledged.

No dollar amount was given for the expected sale.

If completed, the purchase of the Herald marks the latest example of growth for Pittsford, N.Y.,-based GateHouse media.

GateHouse, a publicly traded company, bought the Telegram & Gazette in 2015, capping a period of time in which the Worcester newspaper had four owners in less than two years.

GateHouse also owns daily newspapers in Milford, Brockton, Quincy, Fall River, New Bedford, Hyannis and Providence, along with many more weeklies. Combined, the company covers practically all of Eastern and Central Massachusetts, along with much of Rhode Island and parts of New Hampshire.

The Herald said it has 240 employees, including 120 in its newsroom. At its peak in 2000, it had around 900 employees, it said.

The newspaper, known for its sports and political coverage, has been owned by Publisher Patrick Purcell since 1994, when he bought it from Rupert Murdock.

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