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

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.