SALEM – The parent companies of the Salem Times-Register and its sister newspapers are for sale, ordered by a federal bankruptcy court at the request of a major creditor, Wells Fargo.

Blue Ridge Newspapers Inc. and Montgomery County Newspapers Inc. filed Chapter 11 reorganization Dec. 3, 2010.

More recently, the sale was ordered by the end of August, along with publications in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Blue Ridge Newspapers Inc. publishes the Salem Times Register, The Fincastle Herald, The New Castle Record, Cave Spring Connection, and The Vinton Messenger.

Montgomery Newspapers Inc. publishes The News Messenger, and the News Journal, which serve Christiansburg, Radford, Blacksburg and the New River Valley.

E. Wilson Koeppel, who co-owns the companies with Jeffrey T. Stumb, said, “This is not the direction we planned when entering Chapter 11 reorganization, but it is the outcome that Wells Fargo along with the court felt compelled to pursue.”

“The future is bright for these quality and profitable publications, and will continue to serve each community with the best local news of any news media in the Roanoke and New River Valley areas. The only thing that will change is ownership,” Koeppel said.

Koeppel praised all the newspapers’ employees who live and work in those communities.

Financial qualified and interested parties should contact Sam B. Mitchell, who is in charge of the sale, at or 702-430-6484, and Heard Law, Angela Ary, or 256-535-0817.

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