Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known as "the destroyer of newspapers," suffered a stinging defeat on Thursday when newspaper publisher Gannett's shareholders rejected the company's hostile takeover bid.
Alden owns a chain of nearly 200 publications, formerly known as DFM and now known as MediaNews Group or MNG. Gannett owns the largest newspaper chain in the U.S.
The NewsGuild-CWA had called on Gannett shareholders to reject Alden's takeover efforts. Speaking at Gannett's shareholders meeting, NewsGuild-CWA President Bernie Lunzer said the union supported Gannett's candidates for the company's board of directors – despite differences on other issues – because of the need for sustainable journalism, which Alden undermines at every turn. "It is a victory for workers at Gannett papers and for the readers they serve," Lunzer said.
In an April 11 letter to Gannett shareholders, the NewsGuild-CWA and the Teamsters together wrote, "We believe that hedge funds in general and Alden in particular have had a destructive impact on the news industry. They have slashed staff and sold real estate to extract cash from the news organizations without regard to the role news organizations play in communities."