On Sunday, the board of the No. 2 newspaper chain in the United States picked the winner of its thinly attended auction: Chatham Asset Management should be the new owner of McClatchy.
It is just a recommendation; bankruptcy Judge Michael E. Wiles must still bless the deal, which he’s expected to do July 24. While we’re still waiting on some details of the deal, including how much Chatham will pay and how much McClatchy’s creditors will get, we can sum up this little chapter in daily descent in 10 points.
As this deal closes, and Alden all but takes control of Tribune Publishing (taking its third seat on its seven-seat board), consider a number. Investment companies — private equity, hedge funds, financial companies whose interest is maximized profit — will control (or almost control in Tribune’s case) almost 45 percent of total daily circulation in the country. That’s Fortress’ Gannett, Alden’s MNG Enterprises, Chatham’s McClatchy, and Alden-colonized Tribune.