By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

‘60 Minutes’ reports on Alden, Report for America and the local news crisis

Sunday’s “60 Minutes” episode on the local news crisis was a worthy if unoriginal treatment focusing on the depredations of Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that is our worst newspaper owner. Viewers are also introduced to Report for America, the organization that’s placing journalists in underserved communities around the country. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, you can tune in here.

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  1. “Our worst newspaper owner?” Really? There’s a lot of competition for that title. Private and public owners alike treated their newspaper companies like cash machines for decades – which is why the industry invested less that 0.2% of revenues on R&D. (from research by Dr. Leo Bogart, of the former Newspaper Advertising Bureau). For consumer product companies, that low level of spend spells certain death. Oh well, I guess it’s all Alden’s fault…

    • Dan Kennedy

      Yes, our worst newspaper owner. Worse than Gannett. The bottom of the barrel.

  2. Yeah, Gannett have always been heavy-handed, one of their newspapers in Westchester County regularly achieved margins of 55%. One year they hit 57%. When I saw that I said I thought I knew how to read a balance sheet, was that some kind of mistake? They just laughed. But I know private companies who gave even them a run for their money. I’m talking Alden-level financial return, year after year. Didn’t seem to matter back in the glorious days of print monopoly, when everyone, and i mean everyone, went along for the ride. But in the end, of course, it did…

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