Denver Post Revolts Against 'Vulture Capitalist' Owners

Editorial takes New York City hedge fund Alden Global Capital to task
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2018 7:57 AM CDT
Denver Post : Owner Turning Us Into 'Rotting Bones'
A stack of newspapers are seen in this stock photo.   (Getty Images)

"The smart money is that in a few years the Denver Post will be rotting bones." If you think the Post's newsroom staff was horrified to read such a prediction, you'd be wrong: Staffers wrote that line. It's found in a weekend editorial that calls for the 125-year-old paper to be saved amid what its journalists see as its long road to destruction, paved by the "vulture capitalist" owner it has had since 2010. That owner, New York City hedge fund Alden Global Capital (which owns Digital First Media, which owns the Post and others) has called for 30 positions to be eliminated by July, exacerbating its already "shriveled" ranks, which once numbered in excess of 250 and now is below the 100-mark.

The Washington Post reports the order to further cut staff came in mid-March, though Digital First Media was said to have described itself as "solidly profitable" last year. The paper's editor-in-chief, Lee Ann Colacioppo, tells the Washington Post the explanation she was given for the cuts in the face of profitability is that the paper wasn't on budget. "We get it that things change," reads the editorial. "We get it that our feelings are raw and no doubt color our judgment. But we've been quiet too long. ... If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell the Post to owners who will." The editorial was accompanied by a slate of columns, with the whole package conceived by editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett, who tells the New York Times he informed neither Digital First Media execs nor Colacioppo of the articles, which were posted online Friday and then ran in Sunday's edition. (Read more Denver Post stories.)

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