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Union: Philly papers’ owners threaten liquidation

PHILADELPHIA — The union for journalists at Philadelphia’s two major newspapers will bargain a new contract to help prevent the troubled company from being liquidated.

Newspaper Guild leaders made the disclosure Thursday after meeting with executives of the group that owns The Philadelphia Inquirer and ­Daily News.

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Guild officials said Interstate General Media threatened to liquidate or sell its assets unless it gets new labor agreements with all 11 unions by Friday.

Ten unions have been working without contracts since October.

The current Guild contract expires next October, but the union agreed to negotiate a new deal while keeping current provisions in force.

The company declined to comment.

The owners are seeking $8 million in concessions from Guild members alone.

Several local business leaders formed Interstate General Media to buy the financially troubled newspapers in April for about $55 million.

It is the fifth company to own the media outlets since 2006.

The Philadelphia newspapers have endured especially tumultuous times.

The former Knight Ridder sold them to the McClatchy Co. in 2006, and local investors shelled out $515 million to buy the properties from McClatchy a few months later.

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