The group of billionaire investors headed by Baltimore hotel magnate Stewart Bainum has pulled out ahead of the hedge fund Alden Global Capital in the bidding for Tribune Publishing’s nine daily newspapers. The Bainum group would split the chain apart and run at least some of the papers as nonprofits. Cara Lombardo and Lukas I. Alpert report in The Wall Street Journal:

If Alden loses the deal, it would mark a stunning, 11th-hour turnaround for the New York hedge fund, and a major victory for critics who say its model of aggressive cost-cutting has hurt the local news industry. Alden had spent nearly a year-and-a-half positioning itself to take over Tribune, publisher of nine large-market daily newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and the Baltimore Sun.

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