Hedge Fund Strikes Deal For Tribune Publishing Newspaper Group

Publishers of the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and other local newspapers have signed deals to sell to hedge funds that are renowned for their aggressive media cost savings.

Alden Global Capital said it will pay $ 650 million to acquire shares not yet owned by Tribune Publishing, according to a joint statement on the latest deal to consolidate the struggling US newspaper division.

As part of the agreement, the two companies have agreed to spin off Baltimore Sun into a non-profit group formed this year called the Sunlight for All Institute, which operates Daily and its affiliates in Maryland.

Tribune Chairman Philip Franklin said the publishing group’s committee considering the offer could negotiate “a premium full cash price that the committee concluded was better than the alternatives available.” He said he was able to do it.

The deal is related to national newspapers facing economic disasters exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, with several bankruptcies and consolidations in recent years.

New York Daily News and other members of Tribune Publishing will be acquired by hedge funds in a $ 650 million transaction.
Getty Images North America / Drew Angerer

Alden’s deal ignited from some media watchdogs concerned about its reputation for reducing the cost of newspapers acquired by hedge funds.

“It’s a terrible deal for companies, workers, shareholders, and democracy,” said John Schleuss, president of the NewsGuild-Campus Labor Union. I’m only interested. “

Vanity Fair media writer Joe Pompeo recently called Alden “a hedge fund vampire that depletes newspapers” because of the shrinking newsrooms of The Denver Post and other local newspapers.

In 2018, Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan called Alden “one of the most ruthless strip miners in a company that seems to be trying to destroy local journalism.”

Subject to shareholder approval, the deal will keep Tribune Publishing private, Hartford Courant, Sun-Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel in South Florida, Daily Press and Virginia Pilot in Virginia, and Morning Valley in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Includes calls.

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