A Rhode Island company is poised to buy Central Oregon’s only daily newspaper for a song.
In bankruptcy court documents filed Friday, Western Communications revealed a $2.25 million bid from Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers (RISN) to buy the Bend Bulletin and the weekly Redmond Spokesman, not including any real estate.
RISN is bidding on another Western Communications paper and its real estate in California, the Sonoran Union Democrat. The investor group was founded in 2007 as a subsidiary of Canadian company Horizon Publications. It owns a string of dailies and weeklies, most in Rhode Island.
Bend-based Western Communications will not survive the bankruptcy protection driving these sales. That will end a century of local ownership over the Bulletin, 70 years of that through the Chandler family. The proceeds of the liquidation will go toward paying down $30 million in debt, about two thirds secured under a single creditor from a previous bankruptcy.
This week, the court authorized the terms of sale for Oregon-based bidders Country Media and EO Media Group to buy Western Communications newspapers in LaGrande, Baker City, Brookings and Crescent City, California.
A hearing about the Bulletin sale is scheduled for July 29.