The CEO of the bankruptcy-seeking parent company of the New Haven Register has quietly left the building—buoyed by a secretive departing bonus.

The clues to that payout appear buried deep amid the hundreds of pages the Journal Register Co. filed in federal bankruptcy court last Saturday. The Yardley, Pennsylvania-based chain, struggling with a debt estimated at between $500 million and $1 billion, is seeking protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. The company owns the New Haven Register and 19 other daily newspapers and some 180 weeklies.

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