Briefs

Reading Eagle parent company goes on the auction block in May

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The Reading Eagle Company, publisher of the flagship Reading (Pennsylvania) Eagle and owner of a radio station and commercial printing operation, is for sale in a bankruptcy auction in May.

Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, the mergers and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is representing the company’s owners in the auction process.

“The sale process of the company is open to any and all interested parties,” Dirks Van Essen Vice President Sara April wrote in a note to potential buyers.

Bids must be received by May 15 in order to participate at the auction scheduled for May 17, April said.

Reading Eagle Company, which Dirks Van Essen describes as “the dominant local media owner in southeastern Pennsylvania’s Berks County,” operates four primary businesses: the 37,000-circulation daily Reading Eagle, ReadingEagle.com, WEEU 830 AM and commercial printing.

In 2018 the businesses generated a combined $28.2 million in revenue, with the newspaper generating the lion’s share of total, $22,086,000

In a PDF accompanying the auction note, Dirks Van Essen said the newspaper’s circulation revenue trends in recent years have beaten industry averages—a result of hands-on management, exceptional customer service and a strong local franchise.”

The assets of the company include a state-of-the-art 77,000-square-foot production facility completed in 2009, with a new press and mailroom equipment installed at that time.