Who’s Killing Your Local Newspaper?

Local newspapers are perfect prey for Vulture Funds.

In the face of layoffs, the coronavirus, and private equity firms like Alden Capital trying to strip it for parts, the news industry is on the verge of collapse. Hasan showcases the important work of local newspapers and why we need them now more than ever.

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj


update: Speaking of Alden…

We are just two weeks away from the trigger date for the majority of Tribune Publishing to be put into play. The future of major regional papers — including the Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun — hangs in the balance.

As has been reported widely, Alden Global Capital owns 32% of Tribune Publishing stock. Alden gained two seats on an eight-person board in November and appears to have been exerting its influence in a series of pay and job cuts and several executive departures.

Under a standstill agreement, Alden cannot increase its stock holdings until after June 30. Then the door opens to Alden’s taking full control or forcing a sale.

Poynter, today, reports on the latest Vulture Fund newspaper actions.

Alden managing director Heath Freeman earlier this month… was vague about his business plans but hinted that he sees more consolidation cooking for the industry with Alden in a leading role.

4 thoughts on “Who’s Killing Your Local Newspaper?

  1. I’m blogging about this tomorrow, but I think newspapers are their own worst enemies. They post the stories online first and then days later print them. My father often asks me “Did you see such and such in today’s paper?” And I tell him, “Yes, I saw the story three days ago online.”

    Why not post the stories in the printed paper first, AND THEN, post them online?

    I’m not talking about breaking news, but features that are destined for Sunday’s paper, often appear online on Tuesday, so why would I purchase the Sunday paper when I can read the stuff, usually for free, online days ahead of time?

    And it’s not about me reading it first ahead of time, it’s just that it’s there. It pops up on social media with a link to the story. So you read it if it interests you. When the printed paper comes, it’s old news by then.

  2. Tom, this is often — I’d say “most often” — lack of communication and a lack of paying attention.

    Sunday papers are often a different staff or, at least, partially different, so you can have someone planning next Sunday’s entertainment section who has no communication with the person who does the daily entertainment section.

    So the Sunday person sees a feature on Taylor Swift’s favorite teddy bear and puts it in the queue for Sunday. But the story remains in the open queue, where the daily person sees it and puts it in the daily.

    Leaving two questions: One, why didn’t the Sunday person see it and realize it had been grabbed? Best answer is that it ran Thu/Fri/Sat after the Sunday section was finished. Worst answer is that the Sunday person doesn’t read the daily.

    The other question is why, in grabbing the piece, the Sunday person didn’t re-slug the original so that it read DO NOT USE or something similar? I don’t know.

    None of this excuses it, mind you. But it’s why.

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