The identity of the person who filed a letter of intent to buy the bankrupt East Valley Tribune was identified today by the Trib's publisher, Freedom Communications.
Randy Miller, president of Thirteenth Street Media and publisher of the Tucson Explorer, has finalized a letter of intent to buy the failing daily that was scheduled to close December 31.
The Explorer, the Trib reports, is printed on the Trib's fancy $4 million press, which we can assume will be included in the deal.
There were rumors that Freedom had planned on keeping the pricey press and using it for commercial printing, but according to the Trib, the deal includes all "operating assets."
The Trib reported last week that a potential deal had been struck but failed to identify the would--be buyer. At the time, Trib publisher Julie Moreno said the new buyer planned to keep a "substantial" number of the paper's current employees.
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Before the deal is finalized, the deal needs to be approved by the judge overseeing Freedom's bankruptcy case.
Buying the failed paper is probably a bit of a gamble for Miller. Over the past year, it has gradually scaled back production and cut staff as profits began to dwindle. Who Knows -- Miller's business plan might stand a chance if it doesn't include dishing out millions of dollars in bonuses to top management as the company goes down the tubes.