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The Hard Truth at Newspapers Across America: Hedge Funds Are in Charge

By Bloomberg

Coast to coast, financial firms are playing a bigger role at local papers struggling to adapt in digital age

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  • The notion that newspapers need to function as a public trust is both quaint and more relevant than ever. Select papers -- the NYT and WaPo -- have come out of their nosedives and are stable if not thriving. But too many papers, including once great ones, are being eaten alive by their visionless, spreadsheet-wielding

    The notion that newspapers need to function as a public trust is both quaint and more relevant than ever. Select papers -- the NYT and WaPo -- have come out of their nosedives and are stable if not thriving. But too many papers, including once great ones, are being eaten alive by their visionless, spreadsheet-wielding owners. Newspapers are not mattress factories that can be bought, buried in debt, milked dry of cash, and ultimately shuttered while imported mattresses mask the loss of the hometown business (tragic as it is for the factory workers). Once the newspaper is buried in debt, milked dry of cash and eventually shuttered, nothing will replace it. Everyone -- the community especially -- will suffer, except the last owner.

  • An interesting article. From just this piece, we don’t get the impression that the papers are being used as hedge fund media arms—as might be assumed—but that fund investors are acting in an activist role, attempting to turn newspapers around. Maybe to modernize the potentially at-risk industry. Activism

    An interesting article. From just this piece, we don’t get the impression that the papers are being used as hedge fund media arms—as might be assumed—but that fund investors are acting in an activist role, attempting to turn newspapers around. Maybe to modernize the potentially at-risk industry. Activism works, I believe. But it requires experience in the space. It could go either way, but it’s probably in everyone’s best interest for papers to invest in an online presence, among other initiatives for modernization.

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