Lawmakers, local reporters and journalism advocates are sounding the alarm over a takeover attempt of local newspaper group Lee Enterprises by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for cutting journalists at local papers to maximize profits.
- Why it matters: Roughly half of America’s daily newspapers are already controlled by investment groups. Alden’s takeover would make it a clear majority.
Details: On Monday, Alden Global Capital announced an offer to acquire Lee Enterprises for $24 per share, a 30% premium on Lee’s share price at market close on Friday.
Investors seemed thrilled. Lee’s stock jumped 26% Monday on the news. The deal values Lee Enterprises at about $141 million.
Local reporters were clearly rattled. “Gut-wrenching scenario for Nebraska newspapers and anyone who cares about preserving robust local news,” tweeted Sara Gentzler, a state government reporter for the Omaha World-Herald.