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Newspaper editors launch full-page attack on paper's owners over layoffs — here's what they said

A Denver Post editorial attacked the paper's owners for staff cuts Monday. A full-page editorial called on Alden Global Capital to either invest in good journalism or sell to someone who will. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

The Denver Post has been gutted by staff reductions recently, and on Monday, the paper published a full-page editorial targeting the paper's hedge fund owners who are behind the cuts.

The Post lost 25 employees to layoffs Monday, reducing the staff to fewer than 100 employees, down from more than 250 just a few years ago.

The editorial

Frustrated with the strategy of the paper's owners, Alden Global Capital, which includes raising subscription rates while cutting staff, a full-page editorial called on the company to either invest in good journalism or sell to someone who will:

We call for action. 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.

Referring to Alden as a group of "vulture capitalists," the editorial accused the company of using a false narrative that newspapers can't be profitable to gut papers and invest profits into other ventures.

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 was topped with a picture showing the newsroom staff in 2013, with the bodies of those who had been laid off blacked out for effect.

About Alden Global Capital

Alden Global Capital is a New York-based hedge fund with more than $2 billion in assets.

Alden purchased Digital First Media in 2010. Digital First Media owns numerous newspapers across the U.S., including the Denver Post, the San Jose Mercury News, the Orange County Register, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the Boston Herald.

(H/T: NPR)

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