Bend Bulletin Owner To Terminate Bend, Redmond Staff Before Sale

A Rhode Island investment company who will soon take over as owners of the Bend Bulletin, Redmond Spokesman Weekly and others will require all current employees at many of these publications to be terminated before the sale is final.  

A new court filing in the sale states, “Effective as of the end of business on the day immediately prior to the Closing Date, Seller shall terminate all Business Employees.”  

Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers (RISN) recently announced that it would buy the Bend Bulletin, the Redmond Spokesman Weekly, and a handful of other area publications for $2.25 million. The Bend Bulletin is Central Oregon’s daily newspaper, and has been owned by the Chandler family from Bend, who own Western Communications, for over 70 years.     

Earlier this year Western declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the company is in the process of liquidating its assets, including six newspapers spread across Oregon and California, to pay down a total debt of more than $30 million. They listed their downtown Bend building for sale, also the Bulletin’s headquarters, at $20 million. Documents reviewed by reporters show that RISN has agreed to lease the space for $10,000 per month.  

RISN is also bidding on one of Western’s California papers, Sonora’s Union Democrat, as well as its real estate. Some of Western’s other properties, including the Baker City Herald, Brookings’ Curry Coastal Pilot, and La Grande’s Observer in Oregon and The Daily Triplicate in Crescent City, CA  were recently approved to be sold to Oregon-based Country Media and EO Media Group.  

By Ian MacRonald