Various news industry entities are weighing in on Digital First Media’s bid for newspaper giant Gannett.
Digital First Media, which is owned by the New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital, offered to purchase USA Today owner Gannett for $12 a share in an unsolicited offer, the paper reported Jan. 13.
“The destruction of local newspapers by hedge funds and private equity firms is an underreported national crisis for our democracy, so today’s announced proposal by Digital First Media to purchase Gannett is of the greatest concern,” said a statement from The NewsGuild. “The NewsGuild opposes any such purchase by DFM,” the statement said.
The NewsGuild-CWA (Communications Workers of America) is a union representing journalists, interpreters and translators, social justice workers, and nonprofit and public-sector professionals in North America. It’s affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
Digital First Media “has earned widespread condemnation for ruthless cost-cutting that has gutted its award-winning daily newspapers across the country,” the statement says.
The deal” should demand close regulatory scrutiny,” the statement says.
Ken Doctor, in his Newsonomics column, postulates that the Alden bid may ultimately lead to a Tribune-Gannett merger, now that McClatchy recent bid for Tribune Publishing failed.