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.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


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

The Latest

Tiger Blue

Memphis Routs South Alabama, 42-6

We Saw You

Nick Vergos, Exposure, Art on the Rocks, Stock Exchange

News Blog

Malco Announces "Throwback Thursday" Film Series

The Rant

Rebranding Summer Avenue

Film Features

It Chapter Two

Music Features

Artina McCain’s Celebration of Black Composers

Food & Wine

The Devil’s Harvest Breakfast IPA

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

  • Moving Water

    Leaders plunge into water issues for the present and the future.
    • Jan 25, 2018
  • TVA Land

    Groups hit agency on pricing and water tests.
    • Feb 8, 2018
  • Behind Closed Doors

    The Memphis City Council has ways of keeping the public in the dark.
    • Mar 22, 2018
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