Reading Eagle Photo.jpg

The Reading Eagle Co. offices in downtown Reading. 

The new owner of the Reading Eagle Co. will lay off more than a third of its workers later this month, a new state filing shows.

And there might be more.

The filing says that 81 of the Reading Eagle Co.’s 221 jobs — 37 percent — will be cut when MediaNews Group completes its $5 million purchase of the company June 30.

The company publishes the daily Reading Eagle newspaper.

“As we anticipated, (MediaNews Group) has determined it will have a reduced need for a large number of Reading Eagle employees following closing of the sale...,” wrote Jennie Rodriguez-Priest, executive director of human resources for the Reading Eagle Co.

“No opportunities exist for any of these employees to transfer to other positions, departments or locations with (the Reading Eagle Co.) at this time,” added Rodriguez-Priest.

The filing, made to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, was dated Friday and posted on the state Department of Labor & Industry’s website Tuesday.

MediaNews Group, which operates under the name Digital First Media, has a reputation for slashing the workforces of newspapers it acquires.

But until the WARN Act filing, its plan for the Reading Eagle Co. staff was not publicly known.

The Friday filing by Rodriguez-Priest indicates that MediaNews Group might not be done slashing staff.

MediaNews Group “is still considering” additional job cuts, she wrote, promising to provide the state “with a final list of affected employees” on or before June 28.

MediaNews Group has said that workers who get laid off will not receive any severance pay.

Based in Denver, Colorado, MediaNews Group owns about 100 daily and weekly newspapers, according to its website.

Its holdings include the Denver Post, The Trentonian, the San Jose Mercury News and the Boston Herald. In Pennsylvania, its holdings include the Lansdale Reporter, Pottstown Mercury and West Chester Daily Local News.

The Reading Eagle Co. filed for bankruptcy reorganization in March after years of heavy losses.

Its red ink was caused by shrinking advertising revenue, eroding circulation and large debt from an ill-timed expansion in 2009, the company said in a bankruptcy filing.

MediaNews Group was the only qualified bidder to pursue the Reading Eagle Co. Its bid was the minimum amount set by the Reading Eagle Co.