No decision on ADN bankruptcy hearing, which will continue on Monday
The bankruptcy hearing Friday for the Alaska Dispatch News will continue into next Monday, with attorneys asking for more time to finalize documents to get consent from creditors Northrim Bank and GCI.
GCI had said in court it had reached an agreement with The Binkley Company, the group wanting to loan the newspaper up to $1 million to finance the paper and keep it running while it waited for the final sale in court. It had outlined a rent schedule for its facility on Northway Drive.
Northrim Bank was also trying to work on an agreement.
"One of my objections at the hearing today was I had just been shown the document," Cabot Christianson, the attorney representing ADN said. "I hadn't even been part of the discussion."
All Judge Gary Spraker approved was allowing the paper to use up to $50,000 to pay workers compensation premiums, reimburse employee expenses and to keep the paper running until the next hearing.
Cabot expects in the meantime, the parties will be able to reach an agreement and file documents in court.
"I'm hoping that we will," Christianson said. "We've solved some problems in the last day or so, so hopefully the idea between the continuance is to give us a chance to put all of this together."
Attorney John McKay, who is also a creditor, says he wants to see a decision that will keep quality journalism in the state.
"The most we can hope for is the community," he said. "Even though creditors may not be paid or anything else, is that we come out of this with a decent, continuing local newspaper."
The Municipality of Anchorage's court filings show ADN owes $56,000 in business personal property taxes. Arctic Partners LLC, the company that leases the printing facility on Arctic Boulevard to the paper, is also owed more than $600,000 in mechanic's liens on the property, and ADN has not paid rent for July and August. Both had filed objections to the loan.
ADN owner Alice Rogoff had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection almost a week ago, which is when it was announced The Binkley Company was the potential buyer.
Under the asset purchase agreement (APA) between both parties, The Binkley Company would loan up to $1 million to the paper to keep it running while controlling the paper’s daily operations. Rogoff would remain the owner until the judge approves a final sale. There’s also a provision there allowing The Binkley Company to, at its sole discretion, refuse the fund that’s outlined in the agreement.
Bankruptcy filings from Rogoff show the ADN is currently losing $125,000 weekly and the business owes more than $2.5 million to a lengthy list of vendors.
Editor's Note: GCI is the parent company of KTVA.