The Men Who Are Killing America’s Newspapers

Recommended reading: This article by McKay Coppins and published in The Atlantic, is being hailed as the definitive exposé of Alden Global Capital.

“To find the paper’s current headquarters one afternoon in late June, I took a cab across town to an industrial block west of the river. After a long walk down a windowless hallway lined with cinder-block walls, I got in an elevator, which deposited me near a modest bank of desks near the printing press. The scene was somehow even grimmer than I’d imagined. Here was one of America’s most storied newspapers—a publication that had endorsed Abraham Lincoln and scooped the Treaty of Versailles, that had toppled political bosses and tangled with crooked mayors and collected dozens of Pulitzer Prizes—reduced to a newsroom the size of a Chipotle.”

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NewsGuild urges public pension funds to divest from Cerberus, citing the firm’s role in the destruction of local news

This article first appeared on dfmworkers.org on Sept. 23, 2021.

Saying their investments are “enabling the destruction of local news,” The NewsGuild-CWA is calling on two of the nation’s largest public pension plans to consider divesting from the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.

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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.

Statement on Tribune Shareholders Vote from NewsGuild’s Tribune newsrooms

NewsGuild units at the papers of Tribune Publishing issued the following joint statement on the vote by shareholders regarding the takeover by Alden Global Capital.

Today, Tribune Publishing shareholders voted to put profit and greed over local news in our country. 

While we are saddened by the turn of events, we know that our work over the past year — to build allies in the community and to raise awareness about Alden — is not in vain. Those allies will support us as we fight against Alden to protect local news and the cuts that they will inevitably try to make. 

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Ahead of Tribune shareholder vote, journalists and supporters around U.S. protest Alden takeover bid

Hundreds of NewsGuild members rallied in Chicago, Orlando, Virginia Beach, Hartford and Annapolis on May 15 in an effort to stop Alden Global Capital’s planned takeover of Tribune Publishing. Tribune shareholders will vote on Alden’s bid to purchase the company on May 21.

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Communities call on Tribune Publishing to vote against takeover bid

MAY 13, 2021
CONTACT: Sally Davidow
sdavidow@cwa-union.org
202-368-3324

Residents and local organizations served by Tribune Publishing newspapers have a message for the company’s shareholders: vote NO to a proposed takeover by Alden Global Capital.

With shareholders set to vote May 21 on a $17.25 per share bid by the New York hedge fund, dozens of prominent individuals, local unions and community organizations served notice to Trib Pub shareholders that their actions could have profound impacts on millions of stakeholders, posting a letter to shareholders on the Securities & Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database.

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NewsGuild Sends Second Letter to Tribune Publishing Shareholders

The NewsGuild-CWA sent a second letter to the top shareholders of Tribune Publishing on May 6, which points out that Tribune’s earnings suggest that the company has been sufficiently profitable that it need not be purchased. (The Guild posted the letter on the SEC website as well.)

The letter also links to a May 6 Washington Post article that casts aspersions  on the ability of Alden Global Capital to come up with the cash to buy the company.