The ‘shadow bank’ that — with the help of public pension funds — is aiding the destruction of local news


Editor’s Note: This article appears in full on Nieman Lab.org.

To the ancient Greeks, Cerberus was the hound of Hades, a multi-headed dog with a serpent’s tail who kept souls from escaping the underworld. His eyes burned with fiery lava and he vomited bile.

The canine’s namesake, Cerberus Capital Management, is a private equity firm that, like Alden Global Capital, specializes in acquiring distressed businesses — and, alongside Alden, it is now in the business of devouring newsrooms in the name of profit.

Cerberus was Alden’s financial backer for its recent takeover of Tribune Publishing, but the two secretive companies have a shared history that goes back to at least 2015.

NewsGuild-CWA issues letter to Tribune shareholders urging a NO vote on Alden takeover

The NewsGuild-CWA filed a letter to shareholders with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, urging a “no” vote on hedge fund Alden Global Capital’s attempted takeover of Tribune Publishing.

Instead of seeking the best value for Tribune shareholders, the Guild’s letter states, Tribune’s board “excessively focused on a rapid approval of Alden’s proposal, even though a potentially superior offer as well as continuing independent operation present higher value alternatives.”

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Tribune could take on massive debt to finance its own takeover

Cash-strapped and banished from its luxury offices, Alden Global Capital has crafted a Faustian bargain to buy the publisher

This article first appeared on DFM.workers.org on April 28, 2021.

Alden Global Capital says it can buy Tribune Publishing with surplus cash on hand, but the former New York hedge fund’s merger agreement with Tribune appears to contradict the claim.

Doubts about Alden’s ability to purchase Tribune with cash are reinforced by a costly U.S. Department of Labor investigation, mounting lawsuits over broken lease agreements, and a stealthy exit from the top floor of Manhattan’s glamorous Lipstick Building to an unmarked virtual office in South Florida.

Continue reading “Tribune could take on massive debt to finance its own takeover”

Staff says hedge fund Alden refused to let paper publish diversity announcement for readers

After George Floyd’s killing and the national reckoning on race that followed, journalists at the Denver Post have been meeting regularly to look deeply into the newspaper’s role in perpetuating “systems of racism and inequality and to seek solutions.”

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Alden is undermining a Baltimore philanthropist’s higher bid for Tribune Publishing

Tribune CEO Terry Jimenez was lone voice voting against Alden takeover

This article first appeared on the website of DFMworkers.org.

Alden Global Capital is aggressively undermining an effort by a Maryland hotel magnate to buy Tribune Publishing and possibly make its papers nonprofit charities, a new government filing reveals.

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Congress addresses the local news crisis

In a hearing on saving “the free and diverse press,” NewsGuild president urges lawmakers to protect local news and jobs

Summing up the nation’s local news crisis as a combination of unfair siphoning of advertising revenue by online platforms and “predatory financial actors” who strip newsrooms of jobs and resources, NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss testified Friday at a congressional hearing to address the nation’s local news crisis.

Continue reading “Congress addresses the local news crisis”

Tribune board agrees to sell company to Alden; union vows to continue to fight for quality journalism

Deal includes selling The Baltimore Sun and several other papers to a nonprofit foundation;
Sale must be approved by two-thirds of remaining shareholders.

Alden Global Capital, the New York hedge fund known for draconian cost-cutting at newspapers in its MNG Enterprises chain, has reached a deal with board members at Tribune Publishing to acquire the publicly traded company and take it private.

Continue reading “Tribune board agrees to sell company to Alden; union vows to continue to fight for quality journalism”

NewsGuild asks Treasury Secretary Yellen to investigate Alden’s secretive offshore ownership of news chains

Request comes as Alden is poised to acquire Tribune Publishing.

As New York vulture fund Alden Global Capital takes steps to take majority control of Tribune Publishing, The NewsGuild-CWA has requested a federal inquiry into Alden’s secretive offshore ownership structure.

Continue reading “NewsGuild asks Treasury Secretary Yellen to investigate Alden’s secretive offshore ownership of news chains”

A year under Alden’s grip, how is Tribune faring?

One year ago, the vulture hedge fund Alden Global Capital bought nearly a third of the stock in Tribune Publishing, one of the nation’s most venerable newspaper chains, owner of the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, the Hartford Courant and others.

Continue reading “A year under Alden’s grip, how is Tribune faring?”

Hedge fund founder Randall Smith and his wife gave $100,000 to the president’s 2020 joint fundraising committee

This article first appeared on Feb. 4, 2020, on the website of dfmworkers.org.

On a sweltering July afternoon last year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled proposed legislation aimed at making hedge funds and private equity firms more transparent and accountable. Continue reading “Hedge fund founder Randall Smith and his wife gave $100,000 to the president’s 2020 joint fundraising committee”