DENVER -- The Times Mirror Publishing Co., owner of major newspapers throughout the country, has announced an agreement in principle to buy The Denver Post for an estimated $95 million.
Times Mirror, which also owns the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Times Herald and Newsday, said the agreement called for an initial payment of $25 million, another $55 million at the end of 10 years and an additional $15 million 10 years after that.
The Helen G. Bonfils and the Frederick G. Bonfils Foundations own approximately 90 percent of the stock of The Post. The Denver Post Employees Stock Trust owns the balance, except for a fractional share in private hands.
Reaction among the editorial staff was favorable. Earlier in the year, 160 employee-shareholders signed a petition requesting an open meeting with trustees of the employees stock trust to raise questions about a sale.
The paper, with a history as colorful as the West, has suffered financial problems recently. It was founded by Frederick G. Bonfils and Harry Tammen in 1895. Until 1972, it was run by Helen G. Bonfils, Bonfils' younger daughter.
Known as 'Miss Helen' to the employees, she spent more than three decades fighting to keep the Post under local ownership until her death at age 82.
Both Bonfils and Tammen once were wounded by an irate attorney following a dispute over a campaign to get Alfred Packer, a miner accused of cannabalism, pardoned from the state prison. The attorney claimed he shot the pair after he was physically kicked out of their office.