Guild leaders urge Lee board to continue the fight against Alden

The 12 unionized newsrooms of Lee Enterprises implored the Board of Directors to reject any offer by Alden Global Capital to acquire the company in a letter dated Nov. 29.

Calling Alden’s claim that it is committed to the newspaper industry a “bald-faced lie,” they urged Lee’s board to, “Stand up for us. Stand up for your investors. Stand up for your communities. Stand up against Alden.”

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NewsGuild denounces Alden’s continued bid to destroy local news

The union is calling on Lee’s board to reject Alden’s takeover bid.

The NewsGuild-CWA denounces the purchase offer made yesterday by Alden Global Capital for Lee Enterprises. If advanced, the deal would give Alden control of three of the four largest chains of newspapers in the United States. Such industry concentration would have a negative impact on consumers who depend on local news, employees who work for Lee papers and on our democracy.

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Newsletter: A real Dr. Evil moment

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Last week I joined members and leaders in a rally in front of the New York Times. We came to deliver a message: Stop union busting and respect our union.

It was a brisk day, but I was thrilled to see so many NewsGuild of New York members from several different newsrooms show up in support! There were three groups of workers from the New York Times there fighting for respect: Wirecutter, the NYT Tech Guild and the NYT Guild.

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Newsletter: 1,000+ workers are in public campaigns to unionize with the Guild

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Staffers at Wirecutter are planning a walkout during Black Friday week if the company continues to slow-walk bargaining. The New York Times Co., which owns the product review site, has failed to provide necessary information to negotiate wages. At the same time, the Times is rolling in money: Wirecutter has added 10,000 paid subscribers and the company is sitting on about $1 billion in cash. The company sends union-busting attorneys to the table and has offered guaranteed annual raises of just 0.5%.

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Local Journalism Sustainability Act would protect struggling news outlets

The NewsGuild-CWA enthusiastically supports a bill that would provide a path to financial stability for struggling local newspapers, digital-only publications and local television and radio stations through a series of tax credits.

“The Local Journalism Sustainability Act would provide a much-needed boost to save local news jobs,” said NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss. “Half of America’s journalism jobs have been wiped out in the past decade and the losses have accelerated during the pandemic.

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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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Key jobs provision of Local Journalism Sustainability Act is recommended for reconciliation

The jobs tax credit in the Local Journalism Sustainability Act was included in the House Ways and Means Committee’s recommendations for reconciliation, NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss reported to union members this week. “This means it has a very good chance of becoming law,” he said.

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Newsletter: This Gannett boss thinks working for free builds character

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There is some big U.S. legislative news this week: the jobs tax credit in the Local Journalism Sustainability Act made it into the House Ways and Means Committee recommendations for reconciliation. This means it has a very good chance of becoming law.

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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.