The next couple days could change the course of journalism in America
June 29, 2020 8:21 PM   Subscribe

Nieman Journalism Lab reports on two key dates: June 30th, when Tribune Publishing's two largest shareholders (Alden Global Capital, with 33 percent and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, with 25 percent) will reach the end of their agreement not to buy or sell shares in the company, and July 1st, when final bids are due for the 30 local newspapers owned by McClatchy, which filed for bankruptcy in February.
posted by Ghidorah (9 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Here’s one big new possibility to look for: a new potential buyer of McClatchy intent on pulling its newspapers from the clutches of hedge funds and setting up the country’s first major nonprofit newspaper chain. [...] Leaders in the field of nonprofit journalism are deciding over these 48 hours whether or not to make a bid for all of McClatchy, sources tell me. They say they can raise the needed cash of $300 million-plus."

Reading the NJL piece was like slipping down a wet, spiral staircase, but I'm still interested.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:57 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


oh god please hang in there latimes, even when your protest related front pages frustrate me i still want you to exist. i just want you to do better, which you seem to be at least trying?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:59 PM on June 29 [11 favorites]


The most feared owner in American journalism looks set to take some of its greatest assets • Savannah Jacobson; June 29, 2020; Columbia Journalism Review

About Randall Smith, CEO of Alden Global Capital, experts in extracting value from declining assets.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:33 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


The Randall Smith article is deeply unsettling. Going so far to remain out of the spotlight just screams that he’s fully aware of how repugnant his method towards gathering wealth is, and desperately wants to to stay off of the radar.

People like him are parasites. They create nothing of value, they actively seek to weaken companies in order to make them easier to take over, and they ruin the lives of employees that they’ll never think of as more than a cost on a balance sheet.

Private equity firms are a cancer.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:29 AM on June 30 [20 favorites]


Disappearing public newspaper companies were a thriving group not so long ago • Rick Edmonds; June 30, 2020; Poynter.org • "Two of the remaining public companies — Tribune and McClatchy — are set to pass to hedge fund control this week. That leaves only four standing."
[if or when control passes, this] will leave just four public newspaper companies: the financially robust New York Times Company, along with Gannett, Lee Enterprises and A.H. Belo, the latter three with stock trading for less than $2.
Down substantially from 14 newspaper companies in the year 2000. Many newspapers were part of larger companies with other media (TV/radio) holdings, and were spun off because they were bringing down overall profits.

Related: A quarter of all U.S. newspapers have died in 15 years, a new UNC news deserts study found • Tom Stites; June 24, 2020; Poynter.org • "At least 1,800 communities that had a local news outlet in 2004 were without one at the beginning of 2020."
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:23 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


People like him are parasites. They create nothing of value, they actively seek to weaken companies in order to make them easier to take over, and they ruin the lives of employees that they’ll never think of as more than a cost on a balance sheet.

They're the con men of con men. I'll never understand how people keep falling for PE promises when they just load companies to the hilt with debt.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:39 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


They're the con men of con men. I'll never understand how people keep falling for PE promises when they just load companies to the hilt with debt.
The promises are a smokescreen.
Anyone who is in a decision-making position gets very well paid to sell out their colleagues.
posted by fullerine at 10:20 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


For more on this, watch the recent episode of Patriot Act by Hasan Minhaj. He does a great job explaining the disaster happening to news companies.
posted by TreeHugger at 2:53 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


As an update, Tribune struck another deal with Alden, keeping Alden from owning more than 33% of Tribune until after next year's shareholders meeting (to be held no later than June, 2021), but allowing Alden to place three people on the 7 person board of directors. So surely, that will end well.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:03 PM on July 5


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