Judge Approves $1M Loan so Alaska Newspaper Can Pay Workers’ Comp, Employees

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a $1 million loan for the Alaska Dispatch News to keep it operating as negotiations continue with potential buyers.

The newspaper will use the loan from potential buyers approved this week to continue paying insurance premiums and employees, KTUU-TV reported. Without the loan, Alaska Dispatch News could not afford its ongoing expenses and would have to fold, said Cabot Christianson, the newspaper’s lawyer.

The Anchorage-based newspaper filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 12. Last week, a judge and Northrim Bank allowed Alaska Dispatch News to move $800,000 out of its account to pay newspaper carriers and another $50,000 to pay workers compensation, insurance premiums and employee reimbursements while hearings for its sale were delayed.

Alaska Dispatch News owes over $2.5 million to several vendors. The newspaper’s current owner and former publisher Alice Rogoff invested $17 million into the paper, said she said in court via telephone last week.

The Binkley Co. LLC out of Fairbanks and current Alaska Dispatch News publishers Ryan Binkley and Jason Evans have expressed interested in buying the paper. Binkley and Evans have offered to buy it for $1 million.

The newspaper’s hearing for its official sale is scheduled for Sept. 11.