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March 21, 2019

Reading Eagle newspaper's owner files for bankruptcy after 150 years in business

The family-owned company also owns radio station WEEU 830AM and South Schuylkill News and Pretzel City Productions publications

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Reading Eagle Photo courtesy/Google Maps

The Reading Eagle announced on Thursday it has filed for bankruptcy.

The Reading Eagle Co., the family business behind the Reading Eagle newspaper, announced Thursday it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company has been in business for more than 150 years in Reading, Berks County, and owns the Eagle, WEEU 830AM, the weekly paper South Schuylkill News, and Pretzel City Productions. 

RELATED: Billy Penn is for sale as Spirited Media pivots, sells local news sites

CEO Peter Barbey announced the news to the board and the company's 236 full-time and 20 part-time employees on Wednesday.

“Our employees have worked very hard to support our company and our community,” Barbey, who is a member of one of the 50 wealthiest families in America, said in a statement. “The family is incredibly grateful.”

The Reading Eagle was founded in 1868. At one time, Pennsylvania author John Updike interned there.

In the official announcement published by the Eagle, the company said it will continue to publish papers and broadcast while it seeks a buyer. 

“For more than a century you have taken us into your homes and supported us as we've told your stories and reported on the events and policies that shape your lives,” the company said in a statement. “We hope you will stay with us as we move through this period of change.”

According to the release, the company has met with several buyers during the last several months.

The news follows word that Spirit Media-owned Billy Penn was also seeking a buyer

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