September 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm
(VOD: Detroit city retirees have been warning for a long time during the city’s bankruptcy proceedings that a takeover is coming to YOU next. Well, it looks like Detroit News editors, columnists and reporters who have been busy crowing about the “success” of the bankruptcy may be on the unemployment and social service lines next. Interesting that global bank UBS, which sold a predatory $1.5 billion Certificates of Participation loan to Detroit, is also involved in these proceedings. WATCH OUT FOR THE BANKSTERS! Note links to articles on lay-offs under Digital Media auspices below their article. To News reporters who have NOT been celebrating the demise of Detroit, VOD’s sympathies go out to you. )
New York – Digital First Media, owner of dozens of media properties including The Detroit News and detroitnews.com, announced Friday that it will “evaluate and consider strategic alternatives” that could lead to the sale of some or all of the company.
Digital First CEO John Paton said the company has retained UBS Securities to review a full range of alternatives — including selling the entire company, selling regional clusters or doing nothing.
“We believe we have many options available to us to maximize the value of our businesses for our stockholders and the board of directors has therefore decided to assess the full range of these opportunities,” Paton said.
In a statement the company said there are no assurances that the process will result in a transaction or transactions or on the timing of any decisions. The company also said that it will not disclose developments in the process until the board decides how it will proceed.
Digital First, based in New York, was formed in December 2013 with the merger of MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Company. It is the nation’s second-largest newspaper company, based on circulation, operating in 15 states, with 800 multi-platform news and information products, including 76 daily and Sunday newspapers and 160 weeklies. The company said it serves 75 million customers monthly.
The company is controlled by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital.
The Detroit News is published by the Detroit Media Partnership under a joint operating agreement with Gannett Co., which exercises majority control of DMP.
The Digital First announcement follows actions by several media companies to separate their newspaper assets from their broadcasting and other businesses.
Media analysts have speculated since last spring about Digital First’s future after the company shut down its experimental, centralized digital newsroom, called Project Thunderdome. Paton said Friday’s action is unrelated to Thunderdome, which was one of many digital experiments the company has undertaken under his leadership.
“The news information industry in America is undergoing a period of seismic change, defined by the need to consolidate to rapidly compete in a digital world,” Paton said.
“The companies that will succeed are those which have meaningful scale and digital expertise. By anticipating the rapid revolution in our industry and responding to stay ahead of the curve, DFM has clearly emerged as a leading player, based on the high quality of our assets and the extensive work we have done to transform them into multi-platform products….”
Digital First’s largest properties include the San Jose Mercury News, the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Daily News, the New Haven Register, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the Salt Lake Tribune.
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