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Boston Herald files for bankruptcy, will be sold

Republican Scott Brown displays a special edition of the Boston Herald after winning the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat January 19, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the seat of late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

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BOSTON -- The Boston Herald is declaring bankruptcy and has agreed to be sold to GateHouse Media.

The daily newspaper founded in 1846 announced Friday it filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Delaware. Publisher Patrick Purcell didn't disclose the sale price but said the purchase is subject to court approval.

Purcell cited pension liabilities, declining revenue, digital media and growing competition for the decision. He said the company would continue its day-to-day operations. 

Purcell has been the publisher of the Boston Herald since 1984 and bought the publication from Rupert Murdoch and News Corp 10 years later, CBS Boston reports.

"Boston is a better city for the Herald's unique and fearless local reporting," Purcell said in a letter to Herald employees.  

The 64,500-circulation tabloid had some 900 employees at its peak in 2000. Today it has 240; more than half working in the newsroom. It has won eight Pulitzer Prizes in its history.

New York-based GateHouse Media publishes more than 600 newspapers in 38 states, including daily newspapers serving Cape Cod, Worcester and Fall River and Rhode Island.