Photographs by PATRICK TRAYLOR
DENVER — Scores of demonstrators rallied outside the downtown offices of the Denver Post on Friday, June 17, the day after a buyout push from management expired. The company’s proposed cuts would slash newsroom staff by a third, NewsGuild officials said.
Demonstrators called for transparency from Alden Global Capital, a “vulture” hedge fund that owns Digital First Media, the nation’s second-largest newspaper company. Digital First, or DFM, runs the Post and more than 200 other dailies and weeklies across the U.S.
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As of Monday, June 20, more than 6,000 people signed on to an online letter to Alden Global president Heath Freeman “demanding that Alden Global Capital publicly disclose its investors, investments and political donations The public has a right to know who is running the media outlets that we depend on for information and news.”
Since taking over DFM several years ago, Alden has kept investor profits high by systematically selling off nearly all its newspapers’ assets while drastically cutting staffing and other resources at rates unprecedented in the industry. Many of Alden’s funds are based in the Cayman Islands, a well-known tax secrecy haven, and the identities of the firm’s investors are largely unknown.
Speakers at the rally included: Kieran Nicholson, Guild Newsroom Unit Chair; Charley Abel, Lakewood City councilman, ex-Rocky Mountain Reporter; Shannon Wills, Publication Producer at the Post; Tommie Shimrock, Special Ed Teacher and with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association; Caroline Casteel, Organizer with Colorado Jobs with Justice (not pictured); Kevin Flynn, Denver City Councilman and ex-Rocky Mountain News Reporter.