Rome News-Tribune

Marietta-based Times-Journal Inc. has offered to purchase the Rome News-Tribune and News Publishing Co.’s weekly products if the proposal is approved by a bankruptcy judge.

The petition, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, comes after News Publishing Co. filed a petition for Chapter 11 reorganization Jan. 1, 2013.

The proposed purchase agreement totals $1,100,000 and includes News Publishing Co. and all its assets — the Rome News-Tribune, Calhoun Times, Walker County Messenger, The Catoosa County News and The Polk County Standard Journal.

Cherokee Publishing Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of News Publishing Co., which publishes the Cherokee County Herald in Centre, Alabama, is also part of the proposed deal.

If the court approves it, the listed closing date for the agreement would be no later than March 31, 2015.

Chapter 11 protects a company from creditor lawsuits while it reorganizes. A majority of creditors, however, must approve a debtors’ reorganization plan.

As a part of the proposed deal the Times-Journal also accepts certain liabilities, including News Publishing Co.’s obligations to fulfill pre-paid subscriptions for 12 months and provide an advertising credit of $175,000 to Greater Rome Bank.

In addition, Times-Journal Inc. will retain News Publishing Co. owner Burgett H. Mooney III as a consultant for 20 months after the effective date of the purchase agreement at the rate of $10,000 per month.

Times-Journal Inc. also agrees to lease properties at 303-315 E. Sixth Ave. for 20 months at the amount of $12,000 per month. The agreement also shows the equipment used in the publishing process to be rented at the rate of $8,000 per month for 20 months.

According to its website, Times-Journal Inc. and its 150-plus employees publish two dailies, The Marietta Daily-Journal and the Cherokee Tribune, as well as 22 Neighbor community newspapers and four monthly magazines, including Cobb Life, in eight suburban Atlanta counties.

The company is owned and operated by the Brumby family with Otis Brumby III acting as publisher.

This proposed deal also is subject to a bidding process. If the court grants the motion for sale there will be a fixed time for other qualified companies to enter into a bidding process.

If there are additional bidders an auction will be held.

Filings show a proposed date of Jan. 15, 2015, at 10 a.m. Only the Times-Journal Inc. and qualified bidders may participate in the auction.

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