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      Bankruptcy looming for Freedom Communications?

      A published report said Freedom Communications Inc., owner of the McAllen Monitor, Valley Morning Star, Brownsville Herald and the Island Breeze, is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week.

      The Wall Street Journal reported on its website the privately held company has reached agreements with its lenders to restructure its debts.

      The report cited unnamed people familiar with the situation.

      A phone message left at Freedom's Irvine, CA, headquarters was not immediately returned.

      The Journal quoted an unnamed Freedom spokesman who said, "We are continuing to work with our lenders to address our balance sheet."

      Freedom's lenders are expected to take control of the company while it operates under bankruptcy protection, the Journal reported.

      The lenders, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., SunTrust Banks and Union Bank of California, hold about $770 million in debt.

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