- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 8, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) | A major roadblock in a deal to sell the Chicago Sun-Times could be removed soon.

The newspaper’s parent company said leaders of five unions that earlier rejected concessions demanded by would-be buyer Jim Tyree have now agreed with company executives to contract changes. Sun-Times spokeswoman Tammy Chase declined to provide details.

Mr. Tyree’s offer for the Sun-Times Media Group appears to be the best hope of survival for a company rapidly running out of cash. But he insists all unions agree to concessions, including pay cuts, or he’ll walk.

Rank-and-file union members must vote on the agreement.

Sun-Times executives want a bankruptcy judge to approve the Tyree deal Thursday. That action may depend on all unions agreeing to concessions.

If the Sun-Times goes under, this city of 3 million would have one major daily, the Chicago Tribune, whose parent company is also operating under bankruptcy protection.

Sun-Times Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, citing $479 million in assets and $801 million in debt. It has shed more than 400 jobs since late last year through layoffs and attrition.

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