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Flight attendants, Southwest reach deal

DALLAS – Southwest Airlines Co. flight attendants are the latest group of workers to agree on how they will integrate their seniority with that of workers at AirTran Airways.

The agreement, announced Monday, must be ratified by members of the Transport Workers Union Local 556, which represents roughly 10,000 Southwest flight attendants, and the Association of Flight Attendants Council 57, which represents about 2,400 at AirTran, the airline and the unions said.

The unions said the pact provides seniority enhancements and job security for Southwest flight attendants and boosts wages and benefits for AirTran flight attendants. Southwest Airlines also will open an Atlanta flight attendant base.

Dallas-based Southwest bought AirTran in May. The airline’s flight instructors and mechanics are to vote soon on seniority agreements.

Associated Press

Chicago Sun-Times sold to investment group

CHICAGO – A new investment group has completed its purchase of the company that owns the Chicago Sun-Times.

Wrapports LLC says its transaction to buy Sun-Times Media Holdings LLC closed Monday. In addition to the Chicago publication, Sun-Times Media also owns a chain of newspapers in the city’s suburbs and in Indiana.

Sun-Times Media filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and was led out of bankruptcy later that year by an investment group headed by Mesirow Financial president James Tyree. Tyree died this year.

While the newspaper has slashed costs and cut dozens of staff positions, the Sun-Times won a Pulitzer Prize this year for local reporting. Its new ownership group is led by technology investor Michael Ferro Jr. and Timothy Knight, the former publisher of Newsday.

Associated Press

Buffett’s firm buys his hometown newspaper

OMAHA, Neb. – Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has completed the purchase of company chairman Warren Buffett’s hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald.

The deal announced Nov. 30, for $150 million and the assumption of $50 million in debt, ended one of the newspaper industry’s last sizable employee-ownership plans.

World-Herald spokesman Joel Long said Monday that the deal closed Friday. World-Herald shareholders – about 275 employees and retirees and the Peter Kiewit Foundation – approved the sale by an overwhelming vote, Long said. The amount employees received for each of their shares, which are not publicly traded, wasn’t disclosed.

Under the agreement, Berkshire acquires the flagship World-Herald and daily newspapers in Kearney, Grand Island, York, North Platte and Scottsbluff in Nebraska; the Council Bluffs Nonpareil in Iowa; a number of weekly newspapers in the region; and World Marketing, a direct-mail company.

Associated Press


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