Alden Global Capital's bid for Lee Enterprises

What the heck does it mean?

Posted

In 2018, news media analyst Ken Doctor penned a column that, in part, read: “Alden Global Capital is making so much money wrecking local journalism, it might not want to stop any time soon.”

Now, fewer than five months since the ink dried on Alden Global Capital’s acquisition of the Tribune titles, it’s making a formal play for Lee Enterprises, a digital marketing services company and publisher of local newspapers across 26 U.S. states. The initial offer was for $24/share. The news sent Lee Enterprises stock upward. As E&P’s Publisher Mike Blinder assembled a panel of news media experts on November 23rd to discuss the bid, LEE stock was at $24.10/share.

On this 112th episode of E&P Reports, Host Mike Blinder speaks with Gordon Borrell, founder and principal of Borrell Associates; Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for Poynter Institute; Steven Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America; and Gretchen A. Peck, contributing editor at E&P, about the hedge fund company's intentions. They talk about the offer, the timing, the oncoming culture clash if the deal goes through, the possibility of pleading an anti-trust case, and so much more.

 

During this broadcast a mention was made of Editor & Publisher's September 2021 cover story: What's Left Behind, The shadow of hedge fund and corporate ownership leaves newsrooms in fear they’ll be picked clean. 

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  • PrestonGibson

    TownNews' IQ Audience+ sponsors an E&P vodcast to debate Alden's bid to overtake Lee ... a well-played irony.

    I echo Gordon's desire to limit government involvement; however, to counter the market forces behind Alden's bid will require an act of altruism on the part of Lee's leadership or government intervention. In the matter of government intervention, I appreciate Steve's differentiation of trust-busting, as a means of facilitating constructive capitalism.

    In recent years, we've certainly seen examples of altruism at play in local news media operations and strategic decision-making, but we've also seen many well-intentioned, family-legacy news media organizations rolled into various consolidations.

    Gordon's assertion that local newspapers everywhere can realize untapped potential by expanding the range and nature of content delivery to enhance the level of engagement - in terms of audience and advertising - is very apt.

    Tuesday, November 23 Report this

  • mike.blinder@editorandpublisher.com

    From the Publisher:

    Re: "TownNews' IQ Audience+ sponsors an E&P vodcast to debate Alden's bid to overtake Lee ... a well-played irony."

    OMG Preston, I was so busy trying to get this together on a holiday week, that it never occurred to me.

    Thanks for the (much needed) chuckle!

    Tuesday, November 23 Report this