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Thursday, November 23, 2017
HomeAlaska NewsBreaking news: Alaska Dispatch files Chapter 11, new owners emerge

Breaking news: Alaska Dispatch files Chapter 11, new owners emerge

Alaska Dispatch News has filed for Chapter 11, the last step before a company goes into bankruptcy. The filing allows the company to reorganize, but apparently it’s changing hands as a part of the deal.

The Dispatch is proceeding under new potential owners led by Ryan Binkley and Jason Evans, from longtime Alaska families. They will be co-publishers until a permanent publisher can be found, the new publishing group said Saturday night. It unclear if the paper has been actually sold, but it’s evident a sale is in the works.

Hawkins

Chapter 11 gives a company protection from creditors for a limited amount of time to allow it to restructure.

Ryan Binkley, Wade Binkley, James Binkley, and Kai Binkley Sims, and the Alaska Media LLC comprise the consortium that would be the new owners, should the court allow the deal to proceed.

Former Anchorage Daily News publisher Jerry Grilly, who retired as president and CEO of the Denver Post in 2012, is consulting with the group. He has been spotted in Anchorage over the past few days.

Dispatch owner Alice Rogoff said in a statement through what is now her former newspaper, “We’ve worked hard to help illuminate the issues of our day and provide a platform for points of view from across Alaska.  Yet like newspapers everywhere, the struggle to make ends meet financially eventually caught up with us. I simply ran out of my ability to subsidize this great news product. Financial realities can’t be wished away.”

In addition to the Chapter 11 protections, the company says it plans to ask the bankruptcy court to allow it to borrow up to $1 million from the potential buyers, a group of Alaskans that include the Binkleys and Evans. The new buyers have been trying to close a deal with Rogoff for some time.

 

Last week, Rogoff told her staff in an email that she was in active discussion with “investors.”

On Friday, after news hit that her newspaper was being evicted from the GCI building on Northway Drive, she described it this way: “GCI is aware that we are in discussions with potential new owners and investors.”

She also told the Alaska Journal of Commerce last week, “Until the discussions are concluded, we are unable to provide any details. Please know that business disputes arise from many causes and are never one-sided. We hope that this matter will be resolved shortly to the benefit of all parties.”

(This story will be updated.)

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Small correction. Chapter 11 IS bankruptcy, not merely “the last step before a company” enters it. It provides for reorganization and possible recovery and not just liquidation–but it is definitely bankruptcy.

  • We welcome them into our homes and lives.
    And we only ask one thing of the new leadership/owners.
    That the ADN finally becomes politically non biased, and fair minded to their readers.
    In the meantime, I will continue to get my REAL news from Must
    Read Alaska!
    Take care, be safe.
    God bless.
    Griz

    • You took the words right out of my mouth. The ADN leaned so far to the left, it was bound to fail… and it did.

  • Newspapers still exist? And people are willing to borrow/invest/throw away money for them? WoW!!

  • John Binkley ran for Gov as a Repub in 2006 and was in a group meeting in Anchorage this June with others who have indicated an interest in defeating Walker. However it is fairly well known in Fairbanks that he and family are pretty liberal. Evans who will be involved is quite liberal. The group is working with a past member of the old ADN who might be involved in a leadership position. John has been heavy in tourism so will probably recognize the value of sports and charter fishing to the state and might rebalance the AdF&G and the other policy makers in the fisheries. And they are smart enough to recognize that Alaska is a conservative state. Might work!

  • The NY Times opinions reprinted as news are leaving the Alaskan News scape.
    Let the free press become the fair press.

  • It was very obvious that there were money problems at ADN, when they wouldn’t allow content to be displayed beyond the introductory remarks about a story without a subscription. I hope the new leaders come from the Anchorage Times philosophy.

  • Dear MustReadAlaska.com,

    I hope you get to the point of accepting votes on comments soon. It may not be as easy as it looks, but sites with votes seem to attract more attention.
    Best wishes!

  • You could hit the escape key and by-pass their paywall.
    That kind of ‘dumb’ programming signals a lack of understanding of business.