The Bend Bulletin

Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers Inc. has proposed buying The Union Democrat newspaper and building for $1.15 million.

The real estate accounts for $500,000 of the proposed purchase price, according to a notice filed in bankruptcy court.

Also known as RISN, Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers was set up in December 2006 and bought the Journal Register Company’s three daily newspapers and a group of weekly newspapers for $8.3 million in 2007.

RISN also owns the Porterville Recorder in California.

Competing bids for The Union Democrat are due by July 11 and must exceed the Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers proposal by at least $50,000, according to the notice. A hearing is scheduled for July 29 in Portland. The deal would close on a date to be agreed upon by the buyer and Western Communications after the sale is approved by the court.

Also filed last week was a proposal from Shelby Bishop to buy the former office of the Redmond Spokesman at 226 NW Sixth St. in Redmond, Oregon, for $240,000. Compass Commercial Real Estate Services would receive a percent commission on the transaction, according to the notice.

A weekly newspaper, the Spokesman has been marketed as a package with The Bulletin, the flagship paper of Western Communications. The court has not yet received any proposals to buy the Central Oregon publications.

The proposals would generate a combined $1.39 million for the Bend-based newspaper chain’s main creditor, Sandton Credit Solutions. Sandton holds the mortgage on Western Communications’ headquarters building in Bend.

Western Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and plans to sell all of its assets. The newspapers will continue operating under new owners.

Other media companies, EO Media Group and Country Media, have proposed to buy Western Communications newspapers in Baker City, La Grande, Brookings in Oregon and Crescent City, California. Hearings on those proposals are scheduled for June 27.



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