Friday Night in the Sun (August 8): ADN extra

Friday in the Sun is here

Today’s surprise revelation that GCI is suing to evict Alaska’s biggest newspaper from its old building was so dramatic, a few extra things shook loose.

So here goes an extra edition of Friday in the Sun.

Speculating on rumors and gossip surrounding Alaska politics is a time-honored tradition. It’s time for our weekly trip through the grand, gross, weird, wild and wonderful world of Alaska politics.

Two rumors become one mega rumor

Strongly rumored Republican gubernatorial candidate John Binkley is also now rumored to be one of the investors taking a serious look at buying a stake in the beleaguered newspaper. The move would certainly complicate he decision to jump into the Republican primary for governor. Political interests buying into news outlets is a rising trend throughout the country, could Alaska be the home to the first politician-owned paper?

Take it with a grain of salt as one political insider said it was like “ad libs for rumors,” but our source is strong on this one.

Another circulating rumor for the ADN to escape its mounting financial and legal troubles could be to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, just as rural air carrier PenAir did earlier this week.

The move would allow the newspaper pretty wide flexibility to restructure its debt, rework or escape unfavorable contracts. Unfortunately, this rumor also comes with the very grim, yet very real possibility of a smaller overall staff.

Reading through the situation that GCI alleges in the lawsuit it filed today (really, go skim the filing to get a sense for yourself) that it will be difficult for the paper to work its way out of this situation without intervention of a third party.

Rogoff said she’s talking with “several potential new investors” in a letter to employees last week. Rumor has it along with Binkley, at least of one of those was an Alaska Native corporation. Morris Communications was rumored to be in the talks, but was definitively put out of the running when it sold off 11 newspapers including the Juneau Empire.

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