Tribune Publishing to be acquired, the rest of what it does not already own, by Alden Global Hedge Fund Capital. Tribune Publishing owns the New York Daily, Chicago Tribune, and other local newspapers. This merger agreement has been valued at $630 million, and The Chicago Tribune reported the news first.
In 2019, the hedge fund became the company’s largest shareholder with almost 32% ownership. Since then, this merger has been internally feared and long-expected too. Citing the hedge fund’s “well-documented history of extracting short-term profits from already-lean operations by cutting newsroom jobs and denying fair wages and benefits,” Tribune employees signed a letter of protest.
Tribune-owned newsroom employees started looking for alternative options to hedge-fund ownership. The “Save Our Courant” campaign and “Save our Sun” campaign were held by the union and staffers of The Hartford Courant and The Baltimore Sun.
Alden announced to sell Baltimore Sun Media Group to Sunlight for All Institute in Tuesday’s news release. It is a nonprofit led by Stewart Bainum Jr., Choice Hotels International chain’s chairman. The Baltimore Sun, the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, The Carroll County Times, and other local outlets are part of the media group.
This deal will come through by the second quarter of this year. For the same, it requires the approval of two-thirds of the stakeholders unaffiliated with Alden. This announcement, however, is not clear from criticism from the employees of the Tribune itself. Gregory Pratt, a city hall reporter at the Tribune, tweeted, “Absolutely terrible news.”
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