Times owner gets bankruptcy OK

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Lee Enterprises Inc., owner of The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster) and 47 other daily U.S. newspapers, won permission to borrow as much as $20 million to help fund operations as it seeks court approval of a restructuring plan.

The company is to return to court Jan. 6 for permission to borrow another $20 million.

Lee also scheduled a Jan. 23 hearing to seek approval of its pre-packaged plan.

In addition to the 48 daily newspapers, Lee has 300 specialty publications and interests in four other dailies.

The newspaper publisher acquired Pulitzer Inc. in 2005 to gain control of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The company sought bankruptcy protection after a three-year decline in revenue and an out-of-court restructuring failed, according to court papers.

Lee, based in Daven­port, Iowa, listed $1.2 billion in assets and $1.3 billion in debt.

Lee, founded in 1890, has a daily circulation of about 1.3 million, according to court documents.

The company generated $756.1 million in operating revenue and reported an operating loss of $103.3 million for the year ended Sept. 25.