The vultures are circling again.
In February, Tribune Publishing agreed to a deal worth Alden Global Capital, the New York hedge fund $ 630 million. Tribune Publishing is based in Chicago and owns The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun; the Hartford (Conn.) Courant; the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel; the South Florida Sun Sentinel; New York Daily News; the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md .; The morning call in Allentown, PA. The Daily Press in Newport News, Va .; and the Virginian pilot in Norfolk, Va.
Though Tribune has had a fair share of tough calls in the past, such as combining the positions of Editor and publisher, a ridiculous renaming to Trunk (Tribune Online Content) in 2016 and then a reversal two years later one $ 815 million offer by Gannett Going Nowhere and more recently the closure of five physical newsroomsThose familiar with Alden’s notorious approach to cutting costs and cutting newsroom jobs were personable and fearful of what was about to happen to the organization.
Although Alden has assured us They are committed to “making resilient local journalism sustainable,” and not everyone is buying it.
“Alden Global Capital is known as a newspaper destroyer for good reason,” said Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune political reporter and president of the Chicago Tribune Guild WWTW news. “The Chicago Tribune is full of dedicated journalists who are passionate about keeping the public informed. Anything that threatens it is therefore of the utmost importance.”
The Orlando Sentinel editorial team described the upcoming sale to Alden as “an existential moment for the future of our newspaper”.
“Alden’s story of newspaper ownership resembles a biblical plague of locusts – it devours the resources of the newsroom to maximize profits and leaves ruin.” wrote the blackboard.
Industry analyst Doug Arthur said the Washington Post: “You (Alden) are the ultimate cash flow mercenary. You want to find the cash flow and let it bleed to death. “
Still, there is still some room to breathe and live in Tribune’s future.
In early April, Stewart offered to Bainum Jr., a Maryland businessman $ 680 million for the entire company. Initially, Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss billionaire living in Wyoming, wanted to finance the offer, but has since dropped out. Bainum remains committed to its pursuit.
In Florida, two business people are reportedly following publications there Grandstand reports: Grandstand investor Mason Slaine, of the Orlando Sentinel and the Sun Sentinel in South Florida, and Craig Mateer, founder and former owner of Orlando-based baggage handling company Bags Inc., said he was primarily interested in the Orlando Sentinel.
A mysterious bidder was also revealed for Morning Call Media Group – Gary Lutin, a former Manhattan investment banker who, according to reports, is ready to “plunge $ 30 million to $ 40 million for the company” The morning call.
Although Tribune Publishing’s board of directors recommended that shareholders approve Alden’s deal (The vote was scheduled for May 21st After going to press, there may still be time to fend off the “vulture capitalists”. As with Jeff Bezos of the Washington Post, Glen Taylor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, John Henry of the Boston Globe, and Patrick Soon-Shion of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, newspapers can once again be saved by the rich. As my headline says, money speaks, and in this case it screams and screams. Now we’re just waiting to see who is heard.
Nu Yang is the editor-in-chief of the publisher and publisher. She has been with the publication since 2011.