Current Newspapers, the publisher of five weekly community papers around Northwest DC, have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to court records reports Washingtonian, which added that the company “owes more than $1.25 million to nearly three dozen creditors, including lenders, printers, software vendors, and many contributors.

“The bankruptcy filing, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes after a difficult stretch for the 50-year-old company, whose struggling finances have led it to withhold paychecks, let a health-insurance policy lapse, and delay paying its vendors for more than the past year. There’s also been a near-complete turnover in the editorial staff, which will now be led by former Prince George’s Sentinel managing editor Shawn McFarland; Chris Kain, the Current’s managing editor for the previous 26 years, resigned last month.

“Current Newspapers did not respond to requests for comment about its next steps. The paper has been on hiatus from publishing since December 20, and plans to resume next Thursday.

“The filing includes the six-figure sums the Current is being sued over by two former printers—Gannett and Bartash Print Media—as well as $60,000 owed to a third printer, APG of Chesapeake, located in Easton, Maryland.

“Contributing writers and photographers, including former WRC reporter Tom Sherwood, who’s written a column for the Current for 20 years, are owed about $26,000.”

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