Alden Hedge Fund Draws Protests From Journalists Outside Office

(Bloomberg) -- Carrying signs that read “Invest or Sell Now” and “Stop Bleeding Our Newsrooms Dry,” a few dozen journalists protested Tuesday outside the New York offices of Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that owns their newspapers.

The rally marked the latest chapter in a growing backlash against Alden, which owns more than 90 newspapers and has been cutting their staffs to make them more profitable. Last month, the Denver Post, one of the newspapers that Alden owns through a subsidiary, Digital First Media, published a series of articles criticizing the paper’s continued cutbacks. Following years of buyouts and layoffs, the Denver Post staff was ordered in March to cut 30 additional jobs from its newsroom.

On Tuesday, Denver Post employees were joined by several journalists who work at other Digital First Media newspapers, including the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minnesota; the East Bay Times in California; and the Daily Freeman, a small newspaper in Kingston, New York.

“Before they took over there were six reporters covering the county I work in -- now I’m the only one left,” said Nick Ferraro, a reporter at the St. Paul paper. “This has been going on for years. We’re looking for a local buyer to buy the Pioneer Press.”

Chanting “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Alden Global’s got to go!” the protesters entered the building to deliver a petition urging Alden to better fund their newspapers or sell them. The petition had more than 11,000 signatures -- both from employees and concerned citizens -- organizers said. As they entered the building, they were met by a security guard.

Alden didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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