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Applying shareholder squeeze, vulture capital firm Alden Global grabs four Pennsylvania papers

September 6, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

What does The NewsGuild think of Heath Freeman and Alden Capital? They ran a version of this cartoon in September with the headline “Boundless Greed.”

Heath Freeman’s vulture capital firm Alden Global Capital — infamous for its draconian staff cuts meant to enrich him and Alden’s board members — has bought Times-Shamrock Communications’, a Pennsylvania-based media company owned by the Lynett and Haggerty families, newspaper group.

The acquired papers include:

  • The Times-Tribune
  • The Citizens’ Voice
  • The Republican Herald
  • The Standard Speaker

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

An excerpt from the statement acquired by Editor & Publisher from George Lynett and family reads:

Newspapers have been our family business for nearly 128 years. Since 1895, we have had the privilege of serving this community with local news, events and happenings. Today marks a very sad end to that legacy. Our family would like to express our gratitude to the loyal employees, readers and advertisers who have been with us all these years.

We feel it is important to express our personal dissatisfaction with the sale of Times-Shamrock newspapers to MediaNews Group, a subsidiary of Alden Capital. This was a transaction that we do not support or endorse. Alden does not reflect the business principles we feel are consistent with the stewardship of any newspaper.

The sale was driven by a majority of our shareholders.

We remained confident and hopeful that our current Board of Directors and management team would have been able to lead us through the industry’s headwinds more effectively and humanely than a hedge fund like Alden.

The willingness to sell a company steeped in integrity and family tradition — and staffed by loyal, bright, compassionate employees — to a company with such a devastating reputation in the industry runs against everything we believe in. We are concerned for our employees, our communities and our family legacy.

For four generations, members of our family dedicated their careers to the idea of a free and independent press that would ceaselessly endeavor to improve the community. As a newspaper family and stewards of reliable news, we have heavy hearts ending that legacy and will forever cherish the countless community of dedicated employees who worked alongside us and our family for generations.

George Lynett

Sheila Stallman

George Lynett, Jr.

Jimmy Lynett

Sharon Lynett

Editors note: Per the SaveLocalNews website, Alden co-founder Randall Smith recently sold off a few of his 16 mansions in Florida. Freeman, who bought a $19 million home in Miami in 2021, paid six figures to purchase the jersey of a Duke basketball player, money that could have saved at least four staff jobs for a year. 

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