SHOWDOWN: Inky/DN Owners Threaten To Close Papers If Drivers Don’t Settle For New Contract

INQUIRER: The sale of The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News seemed on the verge of collapse Monday, with the prospective new owner reporting no progress in reaching an accord with the company’s drivers over their pension benefits. The new owner, Philadelphia Media Network Inc., has a noon Tuesday deadline to close on its purchase of the newspapers and the website The deadline was imposed by Chief Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Raslavich, who has overseen the company’s bankruptcy case. Without a contract agreement with the drivers, there will be no sale, according to Gregory Osberg, chief executive officer of Philadelphia Media Network. Osberg declined to say Monday what he thought Raslavich would do if the sale collapsed, but he suggested another auction was a realistic possibility. If that were to happen, Osberg said, Philadelphia Media Network intended to bid again and be the ultimate winner. “We are not going away,” he said. In the case of a new auction, Osberg said, Philadelphia Media Network, if successful, would consider imposing contract terms on the drivers or closing the company until a contract could be reached. MORE

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