Unsigned contracts stall sale of Philly newspapers

PHILADELPHIA - August 31, 2010

A judge has now set a Sept. 14 deadline for creditors to close their purchase of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. The two-week delay gives them time to hammer out contract differences that mostly concern pensions.

Creditors won the April bankruptcy auction for the newspapers with a $139 million bid. But the sale hinges on signed labor agreements.

Drivers, machinists and three other groups have rejected the contract offer, while writers and photographers voted to accept wage cuts and furloughs.

Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Raslavich says he's confident the deal can close after an acrimonious 18-month bankruptcy.

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