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.
They take over the paper from the Matthews family, which bought the Tracy Press in 1943.
“Ralph and I are excited about our new venture,” Fleet said. “Tracy is a wonderful community, and we look forward to carrying on the Matthews family tradition of community journalism and public service.”
Chief Judge Christopher M. Klein approved the pair’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 final sale of the company by members of the Matthews family included the Tracy Press, the Patterson Irrigator and the Scotts Valley Banner.
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.
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.
Robert Matthews took over in 1997 as publisher of the Press and oversaw the sale of the company.
Alldredge and Fleet are expected to serve as co-publishers of all three papers 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.
Tracy Press Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2010. The Press was first printed April 2, 1898.
Harvey F. Matthews purchased the paper in 1943. Harvey’s wife, Laura Matthews, took over day-to-day operations when he died of a heart attack in 1949.
She was joined by her two sons, Sam and Tom Matthews, in 1957. The brothers became co-publishers in 1960 until Tom left the business in 1997, and his son Robert Matthews took over until the sale to Fleet and Alldredge.
Sam Matthews will remain in his role as publisher emeritus.
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