Denver Post Revolts Against Absentee Hedge Fund Owners

A remarkable act of desperate rebellion is unfolding at the state’s newspaper of record, as the Huffington Post reports:

In a move described as both extraordinary and brave, the editorial board of the Denver Post publicly skewered its hedge-fund owner in a searing article published Friday. The message was plain: Sell the paper before it’s too late.

The Post has endured multiple rounds of layoffs since 2010, when Alden Global Capital purchased the paper’s parent company, Media News Group (now Digital First Media), and adopted what’s been described as a “strip-mining” approach to management. According to the editorial, Alden has slashed the Post’s staff by almost two-thirds — and that’s despite the paper’s reported profitability. As of next week, only about 70 staffers will remain.

“Denver deserves a newspaper owner who supports its newsroom,” the board wrote. “If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell the Post to owners who will.”

Otherwise, the journalists warned, the paper — which has been in circulation since 1892 and boasts nine Pulitzer Prizes — will be “rotting bones” in a few years, leaving “a major city in an important political region … without a newspaper.”

There’s plenty of discussion today about the unusual move by the Denver Post’s editorial staff to publicly attack the hedge fund owners of the paper, and some details like the choice of voices to defend the paper (see: Caldara, Jon) or the unsigned editorial’s disparagement of “both sides” of modern politics–we believe that an objective examination of media criticism on the left vs. right makes it clear that one side is actively undermining objectivity and critical thinking–have failed to resonate with audiences the paper definitely needs in their corner at this desperate hour.

We’ll humbly submit that is not Caldara’s fake news-devotee readership.

But that’s not what matters right now. The fact remains that the Denver Post supplies critical long-form reporting that no other outlet can or chooses to match in Colorado politics, and without not just the paper’s survival but a long-term commitment and re-investment the voters of Colorado will profoundly suffer. Everyone who works in Colorado politics has a grievance with the Post either editorially or journalistically, some of them going back a decade or more. Events like the paper’s endorsement of Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate in 2014 have left behind deep resentment backed not just by partisan spite, but an objective sense of betrayal of fundamental values held by the paper’s readers. But for every such editorial misstep you have a dozen or more sterling examples of journalism that have helped keep our state’s politics honest and transparent.

At the same time, recent examples of bad conduct by certain local media outlets remind us again how important a newsroom that adheres to strong ethical principles like the Post is. With all of this in mind, we are compelled to look past every flaw in the delivery of this weekend’s appeal from the staff of our state’s beleaguered newspaper of record for rescue from its careless owners, and add our voice to the chorus calling for the Voice of the Rocky Mountain Empire to be saved.

Just not by Phil Anschutz.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    “ . . . until they came for me.”

    I suppose I could work up some sympathy for the Post . . .

    . . .  if I tried.  

    That is, until I stop to consider to what extent and how often they have been the well-paid and gleefully willing mouthpiece for unregulated, laisse-faire rape and pillage, and destruction . . . 

    Unions?  Fuck em’!

    PERA?  Don’t fund it, end it!

    Public schools?  Voucher em’!

    Teachers? Ha, we got FOX!

    Health care?  Only commies want to end the greatest health care system in the world!

    Regulation?  No, no, no!

    Tabor? Love it!

    1%ers? Rock!

    Government? Drown it!

    Yeah, now it’s your turn Post toasties . . .

    Buck up.  Remember that invisible fist you all love so much?   Jake Jabs is gonna’ save you some day — count on it!

    ”News matters”? Yeah, I agree. But, so do dozens of other things you accepted money for to champion their demise and destruction.  

    In the meantime, dust off those resumés. There’s a wide-open market in oligarch-shilling and spokespersoning for their Republican political abettors and enablers.

    Open your eyes to the world beyond your bathroom mirror, maybe? huh? Isn’t that what “newspeople” are supposed to do?


  2. Andrew Carnegie says:

    How about some real news, like pictures of the result of Obama and his red line?

    • mamajama55 says:

      That's interesting, AC. You come out of lurking to post a pic of dead Syrian kids in the middle of a discussion of the Denver Post and preserving journalism.

      Is this a cause you have a stake in?  Or are you just trying to divert the discussion? It can't be that you are truly outraged about Assad doing Putin's will in Syria. If we want to make someone pay a "price" as Trump said, it should be Putin.

      I think we all know why that won't happen.

      • Davie says:

        How Trump thrives in ‘news deserts’

        This is why Gerbils is back.  Anything for the Fascist cause.

         War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength

      • MichaelBowman says:

        ‘The Lowest White Man’

        “Trumpism is a religion founded on patriarchy and white supremacy.

        It is the belief that even the least qualified man is a better choice than the most qualified woman and a belief that the most vile, anti-intellectual, scandal-plagued simpleton of a white man is sufficient to follow in the presidential footsteps of the best educated, most eloquent, most affable black man.

        As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in the 1960s to a young Bill Moyers: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

        Trump’s supporters are saying to us, screaming to us, that although he may be the “lowest white man,” he is still better than Barack Obama, the “best colored man.”

      • MichaelBowman says:

        …and about that liberation of Iraq?  You know, the country that had nothing to do with 9-11? Maybe we could all just agree that war is hell? Didn't Orwell mention something about wars not meant to be won but to be continuous? That a hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance? 

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Are those the same Syrian kids over whom Moderatus was crapping in his pants in fear back in '14 when some of the governors were willing to take Syrian refugee children? Fluffy was pleading with Hick not to do it.

        BTW, Corn Hole, wasn't it Trump who set this in motion last week when he announced his pull out (not in the Stormy Daniels' sense of the term) from Syria? At least, that's what Senator McCain says.

    • Davie says:

      Ah, Gerbils representing today's Republican Party.  Thanks for letting us know how much you care

      Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that signals from President Donald Trump that he was close to withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria have “emboldened” Bashir Assad as he reportedly launched a suspected chemical attack on his civilians.

      “President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria,” the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement. “Bashir Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma.”

      You forgot to remind us that 150 years ago it was Southern Democrats that supported slavery.  But, not to fear, the GOP is working furiously to reinstate it.

    • unnamed says:

      Hey 2 live drew.   How was jail?  Make any new friends?  Surprised you got arrested for your actions in Charlottesville last summer?

  3. mamajama55 says:

    Dang, Dio. Everything you say is true. Yet there were also plenty of good, honest journalists working there over the years. My father for one. The Post ultimately gave him editorial space to condemn housing and school segregation when no one else was talking about it – including the Rocky.

    For me, I can't really be objective about the Post.  It was a place of miracles, from the preserved lead plate pages and original screw down imprinter in the basement, to Pat Oliphant's giant artist's desk for cartooning, to the newsroom buzzing with phone calls and smoke (yes, this was before "smoke-free" workplaces), to the early computers with their tiny  two tone green screens, to confronting Chuck Green about a story I thought he needed to cover.

    It's Denver history, and it is the fourth estate, and even though journalism is not dead but has just changed format and distribution, we still need independent newspapers. I've signed the petition  – and we can all share it on Facebook and Twitter. Try to shame them, affect their stock price. It's probably all we can do, other than Davie's consortium idea.

  4. Lloyd Worley says:

    Well, look. This is the newspaper that created a completely false Cory Gardner (at odds with reality), then endorsed the fake Cory Gardner that it created. That endorsement got the actual Gardner elected, and the illusionary Gardner blew away in the Colorado winds. What we wound up with is a Trumpet who doesn't even begin to represent purple/blue Colorado. That phony endorsement caused a flight of subscribers, none of whom have returned (I haven't). Then, a hedge fund collection of zombies bought the newspaper as an investment. These walking dead don't care about journalism, only cash. And now, the newspaper is in trouble, but does anyone care, really? My life has been completely unaffected by the absence of the Post.

    • unnamed says:

      I feel you.  But Denver, and Colorado, need to have a Newspaper of record and I would like to see the Post as a vital entity.  Though at the moment, I won't subscribe for the reasons you say.  If the Post falls, something will fill the void.  Something we might really hate.

  5. I will subscribe to the Post when it's sold to someone who cares for it.

    Calling Alden "absentee" is far too kind. They're present, alright – picking at the tastiest bits like any carcass-cleaning carrion eater. And when the bones are cracked and the marrow is gone, they'll leave it for the next scrap.

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