The Boston Herald May Have Its New Owner: Digital First Media

The Denver-based company put in a winning bid of $11.9 million.

Boston Herald

“We’re with you Ted” by Patrick Rasenberg on Flickr/Creative Commons

Denver’s Digital First Media has reportedly placed the highest bid for the Boston Herald and may soon become the storied tabloid’s new owner.

The company, which also owns the Lowell Sun, Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, and papers around the country that include the Denver Post, placed a winning $11.9 million bid during a bankruptcy auction in Boston Tuesday night, according to Herald reporter Brian Dowling. The sale will still need to be approved by a judge. A hearing is scheduled for Friday, Dowling reports.

Herald owner Pat Purcell announced in December the paper was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and that it had had reached a deal to sell to GateHouse Media, the New York-based entity that now runs more than 100 of Massachusetts’ local papers, in a deal worth up to $5 million. Later, Tampa investment firm Revolution Capital Group jumped in, offering $5.75 million. Digital First Media announced its intention to bid last week.

Layoffs are expected. After a standoff over benefits, unions representing Herald staff reached a deal in January that will require new owners to keep at least 175 of 240 employees and also honor time off and seniority.