A top executive of Freedom Communications said Thursday that the company hopes someone will step forward to buy the Tribune newspapers and keep the East Valley publications alive, but so far, no viable offer has come forward.
The company still plans to close the operation on Dec. 31, said Mark McEachen, chief financial officer of the Irvine, Calif.-based parent company of the Tribune.
In a conference call with Freedom reporters and editors, McEachen said the media company received an offer for the Tribune before Freedom entered Chapter 11 proceedings Sept. 1, but the potential purchaser wanted Freedom to pay him to take over the business.
"We have received inquiries about parts of the company, but most are bottom feeders," he said. "We continue to get interest (in purchasing the Tribune), but nothing has reached consummation. ... We hope someone makes a good offer."
McEachen said the announcement of the closing made on Nov. 2 could be "a good marketing tool" to encourage potential buyers to step forward, "but we remain on track to close by the end of the year."