Alden Global Capital
|Founder||Randall D. Smith|
Alden Global Capital is an American hedge fund based in New York City, U.S. It was founded in 2007 by Randall D. Smith. Its managing director is Heath Freeman. It owns 50.1% of Digital First Media, which in turns owns more than 50 daily newspapers throughout the United States.
Through its subsidiary MNG Enterprises (DBA) Digital First Media, Alden owns newspapers including The Denver Post, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Boston Herald, The Mercury News of San Jose, the East Bay Times, and The Orange County Register. The company acquired Digital First Media in 2010 after its parent company, MediaNews Group, declared bankruptcy.
Alden has a reputation for cutting costs by reducing the number of journalists working on its newspapers. In March 2018, Margaret Sullivan, the media columnist for The Washington Post, called Alden "one of the most ruthless of the corporate strip-miners seemingly intent on destroying local journalism." Alden has received critical coverage from the editorial staff at the Denver Post, who described Alden Global Capital as "vulture capitalists" after multiple staff layoffs.
Digital First Media acquisition
Under the acquisition plan, MediaNews Group debt fell to $165 million from about $930 million. Senior lenders under the deal were to swap debt for stock. MediaNews Group came out of bankruptcy in March 2010 under the majority ownership of its lenders. The appointees to the MediaNews board were replaced by new directors representing the stockholders group led by Alden Global Capital. Several interim executive positions were also filled by people related to Alden or its parent, Smith Management LLC.
Pension fund controversy
The company has been criticized for investing money for pensions of newspaper employees in funds it manages itself.
- "Company Overview of Alden Global Capital LLC". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Ember, Sydney (12 April 2018). "Colorado Group Pushes to Buy Embattled Denver Post From New York Hedge Fund". Retrieved 12 April 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
- Ember, Sydney (2018-04-07). "Denver Post Rebels Against Its Hedge-Fund Ownership". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
- Sullivan, Margaret (March 15, 2018). "Is this strip-mining or journalism? 'Sobs, gasps, expletives' over latest Denver Post layoffs". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
- McCarty, Dawn; Bensinger, Greg (2010-01-22). "Affiliated Media Files for Bankruptcy to Restructure (Update2)". Business Week. Bloomberg. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- Langeveld, Martin (2011-01-20). "The shakeup at MediaNews: Why it could be the leadup to a massive newspaper consolidation". Nieman Journalism Lab. The Nieman Foundation for Journalism (Harvard University). Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- O'Connell, Jonathan (2019-04-17). "The hedge fund trying to buy Gannett faces federal probe after investing newspaper workers' pensions in its own funds". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2019-05-17. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
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