If there’s something Alden Global Capital’s Randall Smith likes better than buying real estate in Palm Beach, it’s murdering newspapers, either quickly or slowly, depending on where his mood takes him. With more than 200 dead or dying at his hands, you’d think his appetite for journalistic destruction would be sated, at least temporarily. But no: Having been stymied in adding Gannett’s 1,100 papers and McClatchy Co.’s 29 to his victims list, he’s turned his bloody-minded attention to 77 more.
On Monday, Alden Global offered to purchase the Davenport, Iowa-based [Lee Enterprises], which has news operations in 77 U.S. markets, for $24 a share in cash…. The hedge fund has forged an American media empire over the past decade by acquiring newspapers and imposing aggressive cost reductions that critics say amount to gutting local journalism.
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