Alden Capital, known for gutting newspapers, eyes after shipping

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  • Post-Dispatch’s current offices in downtown North Tenth Street, where they moved in 2019 after leaving the Tucker building they had operated from since 1959.

New York-based hedge fund Alden Global Capital said on Monday its intention to buy Lee Enterprises, the group’s parent company Saint Louis Post-shipment, raising concerns among newspaper staff for their own jobs as well as for the future of ethical and transparent governance in the region.

“This is obviously of great concern, but that is an understatement,” said one Post-shipment journalist. “It’s like the Grim Reaper shows up at your city gate.”

“We have had a number of high impact stories over the past few years and we want to continue to do so,” said Jeff Gordon, sports reporter for Post-shipment as well as the president of the United Media Guild. The union represents Post-shipment employees as well as other media workers from across the Midwest.

“The challenge with Alden is that they cut and cut and cut,” Gordan added, “and there just aren’t the people to do it anymore.”

Gordon pointed out the Post-shipmentthe cover of disgraced county executive Steve Stenger, whose fall in 2019 had its origins two years earlier when Post-shipment Business journalist Jacob Barker began to notice that donors to Stenger’s political operation were getting privileged deals on plots of land in Wellston. Barker, later speaking of his work on Saint Louis on the air, credited grassroots reporting, going to meetings for economic development organizations and digging into deals that raised red flags. He also credited all the other reporters in his newspaper who also worked with him on the story.

The 2019 grand jury indictment even mentions Barker by name. Stenger told those around him, “not to speak with the Post-shipment journalists who wrote the investigative reports. ”

Stenger’s story is exactly the kind of high-impact investigative reporting that could be put at risk in an Alden-owned company. Post-shipment. From a piece of Atlantic about Alden, after the hedge fund bought the Monterey Herald in California, journalists were “pressured to stop writing investigative articles so that they could produce multiple articles per day.” Earlier this year, Alden bought the Chicago Tribune and quickly laid off staff to the point that the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper had no reporters at the State Capitol during a state government scandal and no reporters to monitor the police scanner overnight during the summer crime wave.

“Unfortunately, Alden’s record is what it is. They just aren’t here for the long haul, ”Gordon said. “It’s just a classic striptease game. They will just try to bleed him for money and there will be nothing left.

Gordon said that although his union often disagrees with the Post-shipmentThe current owners of, Lee Enterprises, that right now “The Newspaper Guild rather than fight with Lee, we are in a position where we would like to help Lee push back on this attempted purchase if it can be done.” ”

The Post-shipment The reporter who made the “Grim Reaper” comment has this post for any multimillionaire who might read: “If ever there was a time for a wealthy, civic person to show up and buy the Post-Dispatch for the most. great good of Saint-Louis, that’s it. Could it be his native son Jack Dorsey? Or Jim McKelvey? Someone else? I don’t know, and I’m not sure anyone knows. We’ll see how our fate is decided, while continuing our Pulitzer-caliber work in the meantime. ”

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