Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Local Newspapers Included in Tribune Sale to Hedge Fund

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NEWPORT NEWS-The Daily Press, The Virginia Gazette, and The Tidewater Review on the Peninsula, along with The Virginian-Pilot on the Southside, have all been sold as part of Alden Global Capital’s acquisition of the Tribune Publishing Company.

The sale was announced on Friday, May 21. Tribune’s shareholders voted to approve Alden’s acquisition of the company. Alden, which is a Hedge Fund, previously owned 31 percent of Tribune’s shares, which they acquired in November 2019. Alden purchased the remaining shares of Tribune for $633 million.

In a release, Philip G. Franklin, board chair for the Tribune Publishing Company, said, “Over the past year, the company has taken a number of actions to adapt to an ever-changing business and industry environment, including the impact of covid-19. These actions included strengthening the company’s financial position, driving digital growth and investing in high-quality content to better serve customers, employees, and communities. This positioning enabled the special committee to negotiate a premium, all-cash price, which the committee concluded was superior to the available alternatives.”

In addition to the local newspapers, the deal includes The Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Orlando-Sentinel, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, New York Daily News, The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., and The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa.

Tribune newsroom employees nationwide were disappointed by news of the sale.

In a joint statement, The Chicago News Guild, along with other unions within Tribune Publishing, said, “Today, Tribune Publishing shareholders voted to put profit and greed over local news in our country. While we are saddened by the turn of events, we know that our work over the past year — to build allies in the community and to raise awareness about Alden — is not in vain. Those allies will support us as we fight against Alden to protect local news and the cuts that they will inevitably try to make.”

The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of June, making Alden the second largest newspaper owner in the United States, behind Gannett.

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