In an age of a president blasting “failing” newspapers, the almost unthinkable has come to a struggling industry: A paper urging its own owner to sell.
The tale of irony comes from the editorial board of The Denver Post, which wrote an editorial for its hedge-fund ownership Alden Global Capital to sell the paper to “save” the paper.
According to the editorial, the Post “reported solid profits as recently as last year,” yet is laying off 30 more staffers as it has trimmed down from 250 to around 70 after the latest planned cuts.
“We call for action,” the editorial board wrote. “Consider this editorial and this Sunday’s Perspective offerings a plea to Alden — owner of Digital First Media, one of the largest newspaper chains in the country — to rethink its business strategy across all its newspaper holdings. Consider this also a signal to our community and civic leaders that they ought to demand better. Denver deserves a newspaper owner who supports its newsroom. If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell The Post to owners who will.”
Most pointedly, the board added its ownership’s “vulture capitalists” are taking the newspaper profits for “shaky investments.”
“Here in Colorado, Alden has embarked on a cynical strategy of constantly reducing the amount and quality of its offerings, while steadily increasing its subscription rates,” the board wrote in a self-inflicting review. “In doing so, the hedge-fund managers — often tellingly referred to as ‘vulture capitalists’ — have hidden behind a narrative that adequately staffed newsrooms and newspapers can no longer survive in the digital marketplace.
“Try to square that with a recent lawsuit filed by one of Digital First Media’s minority shareholders that claims Alden has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars of its newspaper profits into shaky investments completely unrelated to the business of gathering news.”
Reviewing the unusual circumstances as an act of courage and bravery, HuffPost rounded up myriad tweets backing the Post’s board crusade against its own ownership.
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