Sign the letter to Alden Global Capital president Heath Freeman and demand transparency from the owner of America’s second-largest newspaper chain. The public deserves to know who’s gutting hundreds of papers for ever-greater profits — because democracy depends on journalism!
Ever-higher health costs show harvesting every dollar is (still) all that matters
By Thomas Peele
Standing in a shaded backyard in Northern California on a recent Saturday afternoon as kids in Halloween costumes flittered all about, another father and I fell into a long conversation. I knew him only vaguely – one of his daughters is in the same class as one of my twins – and we bounced around a bunch of light topics, fantasy baseball, car seats, the school our children shared.
Then a local bond measure for a commuter rail district came up. I dropped a few things I knew about the agency – including how generous its employee benefits are. The man’s wife also worked for a local government and he casually mentioned that was how his family obtained its health coverage — with no employee contribution to the cost.
Try working for a newspaper, I thought. Or a newspaper owned by a cutthroat hedge fund. Continue reading “The purpose of a newspaper in the hedge fund era”
BY JULIE REYNOLDS
At Digital First Media newspapers across the country, employees are struggling with a baffling maze of new insurance plans that in the end will leave most workers spending more than ever on health care. Continue reading “Under confusing new plans, DFM news workers’ health costs rise”
Minnesota’s oldest newspaper is being eviscerated
ST. PAUL >> Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that owns the Pioneer Press, has cut more than 60 jobs in St. Paul — half of them from the newsroom — since it acquired a majority stake in the newspaper in 2012. That represents about 25 percent of the staff and 1,500 years of experience. Another 182 people lost their jobs when Alden outsourced the printing of the paper in 2014.
And the cuts continue — eight more people have left or will be leaving the newsroom soon in a new round of buyouts.
St. Paul is a great city. It deserves a great newspaper. The Pioneer Press has been an essential source of news and advertising in the east metro for nearly 170 years. Employees at the Pioneer Press have never stopped caring or going above-and-beyond to bring the newspaper to the people who depend on us.
A conversation with Fredric Rutberg, president of New England Newspapers Inc.
“This campaign was the first time so many different bargaining units spread across the country were able to coordinate their efforts and join in common cause.”
DENVER, JULY 27, 2016 — Leaders of 12 Guild bargaining units reached an unprecedented tentative agreement with Digital First Media today, including the first across-the-board pay increase many DFM workers have seen in years.
The bargaining was conducted during an ongoing revenue squeeze and threats of job cuts throughout the newspaper industry. At DFM, management’s outsourcing of jobs has been a key issue, as have Guild efforts to win enhanced severance terms for any workers facing layoff.
Some people like to say that newspapers are dying, that we shouldn’t blame Digital First Media and its hedge fund owner, Alden Global Capital, for the troubles their 200-plus daily and weekly papers face. We DFM workers get that print is in peril, and that it will take owners with a deep commitment to democracy and journalism — along with a lot of creative hard work — to keep the news alive, independent and vibrant.