Following Massive Layoffs, the Denver Post Is in Distress

Janine Jackson: Since hedge fund Alden Global Capital has taken control of the Denver Post, the paper has seen rounds of layoffs. The newsroom has gone from 200 or so people to more like 70, with 30 more jobs slated to be cut this summer. Journalists have been moved to the printing plant to further cut costs for Alden, whose founder, Randall Smith, describes himself as investing in “distress.”

Denver Post workers protesting the unceremonious gutting of their newspaper were joined recently by journalists from some of the other 90-odd papers Alden controls, via ownership of Digital First Media,at a rally at the vulture fund’s HQ in New York City. In a New York Times account, the Denver Post’s Elizabeth Hernandez says, as reporters do, that she doesn’t like being the story, but, she adds, “If we don’t tell our own story now, I don’t know how long we’ll be able to tell our community’s.”

Corey Hutchins is a journalist for the Colorado Independent, as well as a correspondent for Columbia Journalism Review’s United States Project. He joins us now by phone from Denver. Welcome to CounterSpin, Corey Hutchins.

Corey Hutchins: Hi. Thanks for having me.

Well, the story of the Denver Post has not been front-page news, if I can say it that way, around the country. A few national pieces have appeared, like that one in the New York Times, but I wonder if people maybe see it as a local story, which it is and it isn’t, right? How would you put what is happening at the Post in context for people outside Colorado?

I think right now what’s happening in Denver, and what’s happening at the Denver Post and a lot of its sister papers throughout Colorado—which there are about a dozen smaller daily and smaller weekly papers also owned by Digital First Media in Colorado—what’s happening, though, in Denver, I think, is becoming a national story.

Now, I write about the media for CJR, for the Colorado Independent. So I’m seeking out…

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