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Bob Nutting bids $10.9 million for the Charleston Gazette-Mail

| Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, 12:00 p.m.
Pirates owner Bob Nutting discusses the team's performance during an interview with the Tribune-Review  last month at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates owner Bob Nutting discusses the team's performance during an interview with the Tribune-Review last month at PNC Park.

Wheeling Newspapers, a company created by Bob Nutting's Ogden Newspapers, has bid $10.9 million for the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the largest newspaper in West Virginia.

The bid is roughly $410,000 more than Nutting, the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is paying catcher Francisco Cervelli this year.

A story on the Gazette-Mail's website said bidders for the newspaper, which filed Chapter 11 last month, don't have to include provisions how they intend to treat current employees once they own the newspaper. Charleston Newspapers issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice to employees Jan 29. The notice warns of potential layoffs exceeding 50 employees. The Gazette-Mail employs 206.

Wheeling Newspapers was the high bidder at the time of the bankruptcy filing, the story said. The deadline for interested parties to submit bids is noon on March 6.

An auction for the Gazette-Mail is scheduled for March 8 and the notice of the successful bidder will be issued the same day, the story said. The sale is expected to close March 31.

Nutting could not be reached for comment.

The newspaper was formed in 2015 by the merger of the Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail. The Gazette-Mail and reporter Eric Eyre won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting last year for coverage of the West Virginia opioid crisis.

The Nutting family owns more than 40 daily newspapers, including the Herald-Standard in Uniontown, which it bought from Calkins Media in June. A month after that deal, Ogden laid off more than 30 people, including the newspaper's entire photography department.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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