Will Fleet, former publisher of the McClatchy Co.-owned Fresno Bee, and Ralph Alldredge, publisher of the San Andreas-based Calaveras Enterprise, completed the purchase for $425,000. Alldredge and Fleet are expected to serve as co-publishers of all three newspapers under the new company name Tank Town Media. Each man has previously served a one-year term as president of the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
They take over the newspaper group from the Matthews family, which bought the Press in 1943 and the Irrigator from Publisher Emeritus Ron Swift in 2003.
“The Patterson Irrigator has been a terrific newspaper for the Patterson community for many years,” Fleet said this week. “We’re glad to continue that tradition, and we’re happy that Ron Swift will continue to be a part of the newspaper.”
Chief Judge Christopher M. Klein approved Fleet and Alldredge's purchase bid in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of California in Sacramento on Oct. 10.
JP Media Partners was appointed by the court to conduct the sale process, which lasted about 18 months.
The two sides worked to complete the sale process during the month between the court’s acceptance of the bid and the sale’s conclusion.
Tracy Press Inc. previously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2010, though Patterson Irrigator LLC has remained solvent.
Printing press equipment, which was located in Tracy and sold at a separate auction, and accounts receivable that are being retained by the Matthews family, were not included in the sale, Potts said.
In addition to printing Tracy Press Inc.’s three newspapers, the pressroom in Tracy had printed nearly 30 publications, mostly for various ethnic groups throughout the Central Valley.
Starting last week, printing operations for the Irrigator, the Press and the Banner began being outsourced to the Galt Herald, just south of Sacramento. The Herald, owned by the Herburger family, also prints the Calaveras Enterprise.
“We are pleased to partner with our friends at the Galt Herald,” Fleet said. “Both Ralph and I have known the Herburger family for many years.”
The Irrigator will still be delivered on Thursdays, and the size and format of the paper will remain the same.
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