The committee of unsecured creditors in the Star Tribune bankruptcy on Wednesday asked a federal judge to require the newspaper to disclose the identity of a new publisher before the court confirms the company's plan of reorganization.
"A newspaper's publisher in the Debtors' successful emergence from chapter 11 is a crucial one affecting both administrative and operational aspects of the Debtors' businesses," the group said in the three-page statement it filed Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. "The Committee submits that it is difficult, if not impossible, to fully assess the likelihood of the feasibility of the Plan without knowing the identity of the person that will be the most instrumental in the implementation of that Plan."
The Minneapolis newspaper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January. It already has named four new directors to its board, and said in previous court filings that it expected to announce a new publisher before the hearing to confirm its reorganization plan, slated for today. People familiar with the process say the newspaper has identified a leading candidate from outside the newspaper.
Mike Bucsko, executive officer of the Minnesota Newspaper Guild and a member of the unsecured creditors committee, said he didn't expect the objection to derail the plan's confirmation.
"We just think it's important that the information is disclosed," Bucsko said.
Star Tribune spokesman Ben Taylor said the newspaper will file a response. He said that Chris Harte, the newspaper's current publisher, "is our publisher until a new publisher is appointed."
The company's reorganization plan states it planned to disclose all board members by 10 days before the voting deadline, which was Sept. 3.
Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683