Denver Post editorial asks hedge fund to sell newspaper
Denver — In an article in its Sunday edition, the Denver Post Editorial Board pleaded for its hedge fund owner to reconsider its business strategy or sell the newspaper to someone who will support the newsroom, citing concerns that continuing cuts represent the “beginning of the end” of the city’s namesake newspaper.
The editorial ran on the front of the opinion section, a day before 25 staffers were to be laid off.
It is the latest in a string of cuts that included the elimination of 10 jobs in November. Another five employees must be laid off by July 1, leaving the Post — a newspaper that was founded in 1892 and has won nine Pulitzer Prizes — with about 70 staffers.
“Consider this editorial and this Sunday’s Perspective offerings a plea to Alden (Global Capital) — owner of Digital First Media, one of the largest newspaper chains in the country — to rethink its business strategy across all its newspaper holdings,” the editorial said. “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.”
It charged Alden with reducing the amount and quality of the paper’s offerings while raising subscription rates in a growing city with educated residents “ready and able to afford great journalism should it be offered them.”
Hedge fund managers 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,” the editorial continues.
A message left at a phone number for Alden Global on Sunday was not immediately returned.
Digital First Media owns dozens of newspapers including The Detroit News, Orange County Register, and St. Paul Pioneer Press. DFM recently purchased the Boston Herald for just under $12 million in a bankruptcy auction.