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Globe Gazette could be further doomed as “predatory” hedge fund attempts takeover



This news story was published on December 4, 2021.
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Alden Global Capital is aiming to take over Lee Enterprises and the Globe Gazette.

MASON CITY – A New York hedge fund with a history of acquiring newspapers and gutting already decimated newsrooms is attempting an aggressive, hostile takeover of Lee Enterprises, the owner of the Globe Gazette in Mason City – making the newspaper’s future possibly extremely dim or non-existent.

Lee acknowledged the takeover attempt by Alden Global Capital on November 22, 2021. “Lee Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ:LEE) today confirmed that it has received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from Alden Global Capital, LLC (“Alden”) to purchase Lee Enterprises for $24.00 per share in cash,” the company said. Lee’s stock has languished not far above penny stock status for years as it battled extreme debt, until it performed a reverse split of 10-to-1 in March of this year, thus raising its price per share considerably. Lee bragged that it was going to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange after the reverse split, and President and CEO Kevin Mowbray and other members of the Lee Enterprises team rung the Nasdaq Stock Market Opening Bell in a virtual bell-ringing ceremony on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

Now, the gloating appears to be over for Lee, and its honchos and likely the few employees left in its tiny newsrooms (like the Globe Gazette) are sweating bullets as Alden Capital, sometimes referred to as “predatory”, takes aim at Lee.

“Alden Global Capital is an investment manager based in New York, NY,” the firm’s website says. It offers no other details at all, no links, just a photo of a forest. Alden recently acquired the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers. Publications say Alden acquires then decimates. Alden now has stakes in hundreds of newspapers in the United States.

Lee’s response has been to beg shareholders to stay put. “There is no need for Lee shareholders to take any action at this time,” Lee said in November after the takeover was revealed. Then Lee “announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously adopted a limited-duration shareholder rights plan” … “intended to enable the Company’s shareholders to realize the long-term value of their investment.” Then, on November 29, Lee tried to stop Alden from placing three new members on Lee’s board of directors, meekly claiming Alden violated Lee’s bylaws.

Lee’s attempts at survival may be in vain. Alden appears to know how to accomplish takeovers of news companies. Once Alden successfully acquires Lee, which seems likely, how many employees could be left in minuscule newsrooms like Mason City’s Globe Gazette? Some speculate the Globe might be left with multiple salespeople driving around town trying to sell the shaky content made by roughly one or two fresh-from-college reporters, trained to point and click cellphones for photos to put in their toilet-paper-thin newspaper printed in Des Moines, since there would be zero photographers left on staff. Hiring former reporters for freelance work at $7.99 an article might be one option Alden considers. The Globe, which recently abandoned its long-time home at 300 North Washington for a barely-seen location hardly anyone can find, may be forced to move again if print revenues continue to plummet. Eventually, the town council may need to consider whether the Globe Gazette should be the “newspaper of record” for its announcements, since it may not even exist at some point.  More to come on this inevitable, developing story.

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14 Responses to Globe Gazette could be further doomed as “predatory” hedge fund attempts takeover

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Many cities are losing hard copy newspapers. Don’t know why Mason City would be any different. I think the Chattanooga newspaper stopped printing a hard copy last week. Lot bigger city than Mason City.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    If the Globe goes under at least we have NIT to post obits.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2021 at 7:51 am

      What about these, go right to the source.

      Major Erickson Funeral Home
      Hogan Bremer Moore Colonial Chapels
      Hauser Funeral Home
      Retz Funeral Home

  3. Richard Stroker Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Now would be a good time for someone to start a factual, non-bias news outlet for North Iowa. Similar to what NIT had started as business model, except this time, do it right. Leave all the vengeful spite and left leaning malarkey out of it. Just present relevant and factual information to the people of this community. Would that be so hard?

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      December 5, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      Ya, it takes talent, and that’s all hoarded by me.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 7, 2021 at 8:29 am

        But all your informal training was at the glob gazette. As much as you think you’re different, you’re still the same. Samesies

        • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

          December 7, 2021 at 9:53 am

          I was not a reporter at the Globe. I was in charge of all their web sites. I never produced any content for the Glob. I just made them a lot of $.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Is Target not even using the Globe for inserts now? Haven’t had one in my Sunday Globe for a few weeks.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    poof!

  6. Done with! Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Unfortunately Lee didn’t even help itself with its extremely poor, contracted, customer service for it’s subscribers. Had subscription problems, and told my year was up 6 months early because I received “premium” editions. What was the premium part of the edition? We were told the inserts including the stupid puzzles!

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Globe is a liberal rag anyway. They do not report the truth, and they do not. let people tell the truth. Good riddance, I say.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 4, 2021 at 8:43 pm

      Exactly like nit, but you still come here and comment.

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Geez! we hope Gunsmoke does’nt turn into a chinese western. Can’t imagine Chester ordering Woof Woof at Delmonico’s.

  9. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2021 at 11:38 am

    We could conceive that this foreign enterprise could be marxist/communist in nature – just saying they own/control the fake news channels we heard like cnn/abc/cbs/nbc ? Probably wrong but with the current administration being no so AMERICAN – ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE – HEARD THEY EVEN OWN HOLLYWOOD.