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Wednesday is the deadline to submit bids for McClatchy, the bankrupt newspaper firm. This is not your ordinary bankruptcy -- McClatchy is a vital local news source across the USA.
The company owns 30 titles in 14 states, from the Sacramento Beeto the Miami Herald. Civic leaders are very concerned about what could come next.
    "I would strongly urge the bankruptcy court to consider what's best for our community and Florida when weighing the competing bids for the Miami Herald and the rest of the McClatchy newspapers," Miami mayor Francis Suarez wrote to the bankruptcy court judge in mid-June. Suarez and many others want papers like the Herald to revert to local ownership... but first we have to see who is bidding.Wednesday's deadline is the start of a months-long process. "In the case of multiple bids, an auction will be held a week later," writes Kevin G. Hall, the McClatchy reporter assigned to cover the proceeding for his company. The court will review the plan on July 24.As Ken Doctor put it on Monday, "this is the mid-year witching hour for the U.S. daily press," with numerous possible outcomes. McClatchy's biggest investor Chatham might end up with the newspaper chain. Or Gannett. Or a group of investors from the "growing civic-good journalism world" who could set up "the country's first major nonprofit newspaper chain." Doctor has details here.Read MoreNow from one chain of papers, McClatchy, to another, Tribune...The view from ChicagoVeteran media columnist Robert Feder writes: "Staffers at the Chicago Tribune are bracing for bad news — but hoping for a miracle. Today marks the end of the standstill agreement for Alden Global Capital, the New York-based hedge fund that owns 33 percent of Tribune Publishing shares. That means Alden is now free to increase its stake in the company — including the possibility of acquiring the 24 percent held by Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of the Los Angeles Times. As majority stockholder, Alden would be free to bleed the company dry through sweeping layoffs and other cutbacks to vital journalism."The looming Alden storm clouds are the context for this next item...Fighting for local ownershipAt the Baltimore Sun and in the city's civic-minded circles, there's been a move afoot to "Save our Sun" since April. Now the union that represents journalists at all ten Tribune Publishing brands is taking it nationwide. Quoting the press release: "In a sweeping vote of no confidence in Tribune's current leadership, NewsGuild members at publications including The Capital Gazette, The Chicago Tribune, The Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, The Orlando Sentinel, The Virginian-Pilot and more are seeking local investors who recognize that local newspapers are vital community institutions." Reporters are promoting the campaign via social media and asking readers to sign petitions."We have to do this to try to save what we do," Morning Call reporter Jennifer W. Sheehan told me Tuesday. "There's nothing good that will come of a company merger (which is what we expect will happen.) We'll become a cash machine." The Morning Call, based in Allentown, is "the paper of record for this part of Pennsylvania," she said. "Over the past 14 years I've been at the paper, we've cut so many beats. We have whole areas we don't cover any more and it's sad."
      The WSJ has breaking news about Tribune...Cara Lombardo and Lukas Alpert with the story: Tribune "is in talks to add the co-founder of Alden Global Capital," Randall Smith, "to its board as part of an agreement that would prevent the hedge fund from making a hostile bid to buy the rest of the newspaper company in the near future." Evidently Alden is not in a hurry to buy up control of Tribune "because of the instability triggered by the pandemic," per one of the sources...

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      Ford unveils new Bronco as off-road, open-air Jeep rival for under $30,000

      U.S. Navy battles for second day to save burning warship in San Diego The recipe tweak that ruined McDonalds fries Ford unveils new Bronco as off-road, open-air Jeep rival for under $30,000

      • Ford unveiled its new "family" of Bronco SUVs Monday night, including two- and four-door Bronco SUVs as well as a smaller Bronco Sport SUV.
      • The Bronco models are squarely positioned against Fiat Chrysler's Jeep brand.
      • The Bronco, according to Credit Suisse, would contribute nearly $1 billion to Ford's North American operations if sales reach 125,000 units.
      © Provided by CNBC The 2021 Bronco four-door Badlands series with available Sasquatch off-road package in cactus Gray.

      Ford Motor is taking a run at the nation's No. 1 off-road seller, the Jeep Wrangler, with its highly anticipated relaunch Monday night of the Bronco SUV — a boxy utility vehicle that developed a cult following after it was discontinued in 1996.

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      Ford is pricing the new Bronco at $29,995, including destination charges, just $205 above a base Jeep Wrangler. The two- and four-door Bronco models, according to Ford, are also similar in size to the Wrangler, which is regularly among Fiat Chrysler's best-selling vehicles in the U.S. 

      Ford originally confirmed its relaunch in January 2017, but fans had been awaiting the return of the Bronco for years before then.

      "It's a long time coming. The market is waiting and ready," said Jeff Schuster, president of the Americas and global vehicle forecasts for research firm LMC Automotive. The Bronco is the Jeep Wrangler's first direct competitor since General Motors' Hummer, which is being relaunched next year, was discontinued in 2009. "We expect this to stack up nicely compared to the Wrangler."

      The Wrangler was seventh in sales last year among all compact SUVs and crossovers, according to LMC.

      Like the Wrangler, the new Bronco models feature removable roofs and doors as well as more than 200 factory-backed accessories. All Bronco vehicles, Ford said, also will come standard with four-wheel drive. 

      "With Bronco, Ford is making a clear push into the off-road segment of the [North American] SUV market," Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy wrote in a note to investors Monday. "While we expect Wrangler to remain the leader in the off-road segment, we nevertheless see attractive opportunity for Bronco given its heritage."

      The Bronco, according to Levy, would contribute nearly $1 billion to Ford's North American pretax earnings if sales reached 125,000 units. That's based on profits per vehicle of about $7,500. That would make the Bronco one of Ford's most profitable models, according to Levy.

      Kumar Galhotra, Ford's president of the Americas & International Markets Group, has said the company projects it will sell hundreds of thousands of new Bronco SUVs a year.

      "They're going to add substantial volume to the company, and they're going to be growth volume because none of the vehicles exist today," Galhotra previously told CNBC. "It is a net-add to the portfolio, net-add to volume and profitable volume."

      Ford unveiled its new "family" of Bronco off-road vehicles, including a smaller Bronco Sport SUV, Monday night online. The vehicles also were scheduled to be revealed through a partnership with Disney on ABC, ESPN and National Geographic during the first commercial breaks of their 8 p.m. broadcasts.

      © Provided by CNBC The new 2021 Bronco family of SUVs include the Bronco two-door, Bronco four-door and Bronco Sport (left to right). Family of Broncos

      The Bronco Sport is expected to begin arriving in dealerships by the end of this year, followed by the Bronco next spring. Ford began taking $100 refundable deposits for the vehicles Monday night.

      Ford compared the Bronco Sport, which will be built on a different vehicle platform than the Bronco, to a Jeep Compass, a less truck-like compact SUV. The vehicle is expected to be more mainstream than the Bronco but still have off-road capabilities, according to Ford.

      "This absolutely belongs in the family of Broncos and will surprise and amaze people," said Dave Pericak, Ford's director of icon vehicles such as the new Bronco models. Ford, according to officials, expects the Bronco and Bronco Sport to appeal to different buyers. 

      The Bronco, like the Wrangler, features a removable roof as well as doors that can easily be taken off, Ford said. Four-door models come standard with a cloth soft top. Two-door vehicles come with a standard three-section removable roof system.

      © Provided by CNBC The 2021 Bronco two- and four-door models are expected to arrive in dealerships spring 2021.

      The Bronco Sport will be powered by a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine with a targeted 181 horsepower and 190 pound-foot of torque or a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine projected with 245 horsepower and 275 pound-foot of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

      The Bronco will come standard with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine expected to deliver 270 horsepower and 310 pound-foot of torque. A 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine projected at 310 horsepower and 400 pound-foot of torque also will be available. The engines are combined with a seven-speed manual transmission or 10-speed automatic transmission.

      The Bronco Sport will be produced at the automaker's factory in Hermosillo Sonora, Mexico. The Bronco will be produced at a plant in Michigan.

      Year of icons

      Using the Bronco name on several vehicles is part of a larger plan by Ford CEO and President Jim Hackett to leverage the company's most recognized and iconic brands to lead its $11 billion restructuring.

      "It's a really big product year. I would say an unprecedented product year," Galhotra said. "We are building on products that are iconic."

      Ford last month unveiled the next generation of its F-150 pickup, including a new hybrid model, and announced plans to resurrect a well-known performance model of the Mustang called the Mach 1. It's also using the "Mach" name for the Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric crossover that's expected to go on sale later this year. An all-electric version of the F-150 also is scheduled to be released in the next two years.

      © Provided by CNBC The 2021 Ford Bronco interior includes an available 12-inch infotainment system, optional leather trim seating, console - mounted transmission shifter/selector and G.O.A.T. Modes control knob.

      Mark Grueber, Bronco consumer marketing manager, declined to comment on any potential all-electric or hybrid versions of the Bronco. 

      Ford's Pericak said one of the biggest challenges for his "icons" team is balancing out the history of such well-known vehicles with more modern design elements and new tech-savvy features.

      "The pressure is immense. It's huge," he said. "It's a constant battle to find the balance between leveraging the fantastic and rich heritage that we have with a lot of these nameplates but not living in the past. That would be a mistake."

      For the Bronco, that included keeping classic design elements but adding useful features such as a new off-road navigation system, large interior screens and up to seven driver-selectable modes: normal, eco, sport, slippery and sand as well as mud or rock crawl modes for off-road driving.

      "We're going to separate ourselves a bit," Pericak said regarding Jeep. "We're not afraid of competition. It's about time we shake this up a bit."

      © Provided by CNBC Ford is launching the Bronco next year with more than 200 factory-backed aftermarket accessories for more capability and personalization. Continue Reading Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours.

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