Fly on the Wall 1573 

Gannett Grab

Sorry, folks, no monologue jokes this week. Instead, FOTW is checking back in with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who continues to engage with Alden Global Media, the media-gobbling hedge fund angling to acquire, or otherwise determine, the fate of The Commercial Appeal's corporate owner, Gannett Co.

As the Flyer reported in the March cover story "Going to Pieces," Schumer sent a sternly worded letter to Alden, expressing concern about what might happen if the company, infamous for slashing its way to double-digit profits with no regard for communities, acquired another newspaper chain.

He'd already weighed in on the Senate floor, noting that Gannett was a troubled example of newspaper consolidation, plagued by layoffs and delocalization. Hedge fund-backed owners like MNG/Digital First depend on deep layoffs and cost-cutting, including the outsourcing of back office, sales, and certain editorial duties to central hubs, far removed from the places where news is gathered and where the paper is circulated and primarily read. They sell a newspaper's real estate holdings and sell or shutter poorly performing properties with nothing left to squeeze.

In response to Schumer, the Alden-owned MNG enterprises said it would "right-size overhead costs," more or less as predicted. MNG Chairman R. Joseph Fuchs wrote, "With respect to real estate, strategic steps might include, where feasible, consolidating print sites, editorial production hubs, advertising production hubs, and financial services."

click to enlarge flyby_fotw.jpg

The response was deemed unsatisfactory and triggered a second letter from Schumer announcing intentions to involve the Department of Justice and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., in a process of exploring potential regulatory issues.

Favorite

Tags:

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • ‘Boiling Point’

      Civil rights groups ask for answers in shooting death of Brandon Webber.
    • MEMernet

      A round-up of Memphis on the World Wide Web.

The Latest

Hungry Memphis

Catfish at Cozy Corner

Music Blog

Charlie Daniels Talks 40 Years of “Devil”

Hungry Memphis

Changes at Railgarten

News Blog

Supreme Court Strikes Down Tennessee Liquor Law

Hungry Memphis

Saltwater Crab To Open July 1st

Hungry Memphis

Remembering Bourdain on Bourdain Day

News Blog

Fairgrounds Redevelopment Project Moves Forward

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

  • More Power To You

    TVA considers big changes for an energy-efficient future.
    • Nov 16, 2017
  • Transit in Transition

    City wants feedback on the future of public transit in Memphis
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • Dead Water

    Tennessee contributes to massive toxic plume in Gulf of Mexico.
    • Nov 30, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation