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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: The Tribune Company, parent of the Orlando Sentinel, will be bought by Alden Global Capital

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Image: Orlando Sentinel Logo, orlandoweekly.com

This is a rough week for anyone who cares about local news.

On Tuesday it was announced that the Tribune Company, parent of the Orlando Sentinel, will be bought by Alden Global Capital.

The Manhattan-based hedge fund has become known as “the destroyer of newspapers” as it buys local publications across the country and enacts brutal layoffs. For instance, after being acquired by Alden in 2016, a network of regional papers in California went from an editorial staff of 1,000 to 150, and reporters say their newsroom now features rats, mildew, and falling ceilings.

Last year, when Alden acquired a stake in Tribune, Orlando Sentinel reporters felt the cold breath on their neck and accelerated their efforts to form a union. Their mission statement read, in part, “Alden … harvests its properties for short-term profit and leaves the carcasses to rot.” Today the Guild told me that “the journalists who remain will continue to cover our community to the best of our ability,” but they “maintain that local ownership is best.”

As its name implies, the Sentinel keeps watch over Orlando. And if Alden thinks maximizing profits for out-of-town shareholders is more important than that, we will all need to keep our eyes wide open.

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