Hedge Funds and Newspapers: a Bad Mix
— January 18, 2019
By Michael Posner
On Monday it was reported that a hedge-fund-controlled company called Digital First Media has made a hostile takeover bid for the Gannett chain, which owns more than 100 mostly local daily newspapers, and nearly 1,000weekly publications. Its flagship is USA Today, which circulates nationally. In terms of daily circulation, Gannett’s publications make it the largest news publisher in the country. But today, Gannett’s bottom line is not strong, and as a result, it is “in play” in the commercial markets.
The raid on Gannett deserves attention because the would-be acquirer has a well-deserved negative reputation in newsrooms around the country. Digital First, which is controlled by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, already owns some 200 publications, including the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and Boston Herald.
Read the full Forbes article.
Michael Posner is a Professor of Business and Society and Director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.