Tribune Shareholders Give OK To Takeover By Cost-Cutting Hedge Fund Alden Global Capital

A major hedge fund with a reputation for aggressive cost cutting got the greenlight on Friday to acquire Tribune Publishing, the owner of big city dailies such as The Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel and The New York Daily News.

Tribune shareholders approved the deal with Alden Global Capital, dashing the hopes of a number of employees at the publications who fear that they will soon see jobs lost and coverage scaled back. There had been hopes that the largest shareholder of Tribune, Patrick Soon-Shiong, who owns the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union Tribune, would try to block the deal, but he abstained from voting. A spokesperson said that he viewed his Tribune stake, which is almost 24%, as a “passive investment,” and that he was concentrating on his California holdings, which are facing their own set of financial challenges.

The deal was valued at $630 million. Alden Global already owns about 200 other papers. The deal is expected to close next month, and will take the company private.

Employees at the Tribune papers had

A number of news guilds issued a statement after the vote, condemning Tribune Publishing shareholders for voting to “put profit and greed over local news in our country.”

Jon Schleuss, the president of News-Guild CWA, tweeted, “Tribune Publishing shareholders just approved Alden’s takeover of the company. This is disappointing, but our fight will continue to grow. Hedge funds have no place in the news industry.

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