The owners of the Charleston Gazette-Mail agreed Monday to take the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to an announcement that was posted on the Gazette-Mail's website Monday afternoon.
Wheeling Newspapers is currently the high bidder to assume ownership of the company.
The company, operated by the Nutting family, owns more than 40 daily newspapers across the nation, including newspapers in Wheeling, Parkersburg, Martinsburg and Elkins.
According to a memo obtained by West Virginia Public Broadcasting, employees at the Charleston Gazette-Mail received a WARN notice on Jan. 29, notifying them that their employment could end within 60 days. “We expect your termination will be permanent,” the memo reads. Though employees may be rehired by Wheeling Newspapers, or whomever takes the higher bid for the newspaper, the memo goes on to say that “if Wheeling Newspapers or such other successful buyer does not employ you, Charleston Newspapers believes you may be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.”
In 2015, the newspapers' owners merged the Charleston Daily Mail and the Charleston Gazette. Before the merger three years ago, Charleston was the last city in West Virginia to have more than one daily newspaper, and one of the final cities in the country to have two newspapers.