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Friday, May 21, 2021

'Orlando Sentinel' sold to vampiric hedge fund Alden Global Capital

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2021 at 1:24 PM

  • Photo courtesy Orlando Sentinel/Facebook

Tribune Publishing shareholders voted on Friday to allow the sale of the newspaper chain to the hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

The financial company is known for slashing newsroom budgets to the bone in order to extract as much profit as possible from their purchased publications, and they now own storied publications like the Chicago Tribune and Orlando's paper of record, the Orlando Sentinel.

The pending sale of the newspaper brought reporters and editors out in droves to protest the idea of being under the yoke of Alden. The Sentinel Guild lobbied local millionaires with pleas to buy out the publication, though that relief did not materialize.

The vote appeared to come down to one ballot, that of shareholder Patrick Soon-Shiong. Soon-Shiong owns 24% of the company and his vote could have swung the sale either way. Soon-Shiong released a statement saying that he abstained from the vote, which would be tallied as a "no" vote. However, Chicago Tribune editor Mary Ellen Podmolik shared that Soon-Shiong's ballot was unmarked rather than marked "abstain." This ballot was counted as a vote in favor.
The Sentinel Guild released a statement decrying the sale.

"Today, Tribune Publishing shareholders voted to put profit and greed over local news in our country. While we are saddened by the turn of events, we know that our work over the past year — to build allies in the community and to raise awareness about Alden — is not in vain," the Guild shared. "Those allies will support us as we fight against Alden to protect local news and the cuts that they will inevitably try to make. We stand ready, willing and able to fight."

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