The interim CEO of Sun-Times Media Group has sent his 1,800 employees a memo telling them that even if September 29, Tuesday, isn't a a formal deadline, it's still pretty damned important. Jeremy Halbreich had been saying that Tuesday was the day by which all the STMG unions had to sign off on terms demanded by James Tyree, the financier whose investment groups has bid on the company. But then the bankruptcy judge in Delaware said differently.
"It was not a contractural date," acknowledges Halbreich's September 25 memo; "rather, it was the date that we and the Buyer believe is the latest date by which we can satisfy the contract conditions so that we can have the most orderly, least disruptive process possible to get our newspapers and Web sites into the hands of people who will invest and nurture them going forward."
And lest the Newspaper Guild members whose units have all have roundly rejected Tyree's terms tell themselves that the guild's dignity is worth a little disorder and disruption, Halbreich speaks in blunt terms. It's true enough what the bankruptcy judge said, he acknowledges, that Tyree actually has until December to come to terms with the unions.
"While that is contractually true, I can assure you that this Company does not have nearly enough cash to avoid liquidation until then. There may be some in our ranks who willl try to tell you that management has misled you about the urgency of our situation. I can only speculate about their motives for making such a statement. What I do know is this: Every day that passes after September 29th without resolution of the conditions in the Asset Purchase Agreement with our prospective Buyer brings us one day closer to the end of all of the Sun-Times News Group newspapers and Web sites."
The bold type is his.
Here's a pdf of the entire memo.