Reading Eagle Company files for bankruptcy
Reading Eagle Company, which includes a daily newspaper in Pennsylvania, the Reading Eagle; WEEU 830 AM; South Schuylkill News; Pretzel City Productions and its commercial printing subsidiary REP, has announced a decision made by the company's Board of Directors to seek bankruptcy protection.
Reading Eagle Company, a family-owned business, has published the Reading Eagle newspaper for more than 150 years. The company will continue to operate, publish and broadcast under bankruptcy rules.
"Our employees have worked very hard to support our company and our community," said Peter D. Barbey, president and chief executive officer. "The family is incredibly grateful.
"Our journalists, broadcasters and advertising team have continually been recognized both regionally and nationally for the quality of their work, including a 2018 Newspaper of the Year award given by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. All of our employees, from the back office to the truck drivers, have performed at the highest levels."
The company retained Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., and has met with several potential buyers over the past few months. The company is hopeful that its position as the top provider of local news will attract a buyer with the commitment and resources to move the business forward and serve the community well.
Reading Eagle is the single, most used source of local news and information in the market among all demographics. (2016 Nielsen market survey)
The first Daily Reading Eagle was published on Jan. 28, 1868, by Ritter & Co., a partnership of William S. Ritter and Jesse G. Hawley, husband of Kate E. Ritter. Reading Eagle Company was incorporated in 1904. The company acquired the Reading Times in 1940 and WEEU radio in 1946. The Reading Times ceased publication in 2002 and the Reading Eagle became the morning newspaper. In 2009, the Reading Eagle began publication on its new press, a 77,000-square-foot addition to its facility at 345 Penn St., Reading. In 2015, the company acquired South Schuylkill News, a weekly newspaper.