The Reading Eagle newspaper will operate with 111 jobs after deep job cuts by new owner MediaNews Group, a hedge fund controlled by Alden Global Capital. That’s about half of the 221 full- and part-time workers that the company had when it filed for bankruptcy in March. The deal is expected to close on June 30.
Some employees have left for other jobs or retired in recent months after the company warned of a mass layoff. Employees had to interview for new jobs with MediaNews Group, which agreed to acquire the Reading Eagle for $5 million in a bankruptcy auction in May.
Among those who were not offered new jobs was Eagle editor Garry Lenton.
MediaNews Group, formerly Digital First Media, has a reputation for cutting costs at the newspapers that it buys to the bone. It already owns several papers in suburban Philadelphia, in Norristown, Pottstown, West Chester and Delaware County, in addition to the Trentonian.
The Reading Eagle separately announced on Thursday that Twilight Broadcasting, of New Freedom, Pa., is acquiring the Eagle-owned WEEU 830 AM radio station. Terms were not disclosed. MediaNews did not buy the radio station as part of the bankruptcy auction.
The Eagle reported online on Thursday that the Twilight’s general manager, Todd Adkins, said the goal is to operate WEEU with few, if any, changes and to keep all 11 of WEEU’s full-time employees.