Alden Global Capital’s bid to acquire Tribune Publishing has been successful. Tribune shareholders approved the deal, which is valued at $630 million, on Friday. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who, in addition to owning the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune controls 24 percent of Tribune’s stock, abstained from voting on the transaction. Alden, which currently owns such papers as the Boston Herald, Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News through its Digital First Media chain, already owned one-third of Tribune. The company is known for aggressive cost-cutting measures at its papers. The deal has been opposed by many Tribune employees as well as outside observers, but the search for an alternate buyer failed. “The purchase of Tribune reaffirms our commitment to the newspaper industry and our focus on getting publications to a place where they can operate sustainably over the long term,” said Alden president Heath Freeman in a statement.
New York Public Radio fires Bob Garfield, who has co-hosted its “On The Media” program for 20 years, over what NYPR calls a “pattern of behavior that violated New York Public Radio’s anti-bullying policy.” According to a statement from NYPR, Garfield had been investigated over similar charges in 2020. After having found that he violated the anti-bullying policy, the company says it issued him “a warning about the potential consequences if the behavior continued, and a meaningful opportunity to correct it.” On his Twitter feed, Garfield said, “I was not fired for ‘bullying’ per se, but for yelling in five meetings over 20 years.” Brooke Gladstone, who co-hosted the program with Garfield, is now handling the hosting duties solo. “We recognize Bob’s contributions to our industry and our listeners,” New York Public Radio said. “We also affirm New York Public Radio’s commitment to providing an inclusive and respectful environment for our employees, guests and listeners.”
Allen Media Group has filed a $10 billion racial discrimination suit against McDonald’s, charging that the fast-food chain “intentionally discriminated against Entertainment Studios and Weather Group [both of which are part of AMG] through a pattern of racial stereotyping and refusals to contract.” A press release from AMG claims that out of a $1.6 billion annual television advertising budget, McDonald’s spends just $5 million on African American-owned media. As a point of comparison, it notes that McDonald’s CFO Chris Kempczinski takes home about $11 million a year. AMG also says that its 23 broadcast television stations and its cable networks, which include Comedy.TV and The Weather Channel, are relegated to an “African American” marketing tier with a much smaller budget and less favorable pricing than its general market tier. “This is about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the US economy,” said AMG founder, chairman and CEO Byron Allen. The suit comes as McDonald’s announced an initiative to increase its advertising dollars in diverse-owned media companies and content creators.