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In a hedge fund’s bid for Tribune’s newspapers, a hidden risk lurks in the fine print

The stakes for staff and readers of Tribune papers could not be higher. Alden has stripped dozens of its other newspapers of employees and assets to boost profits. Bainum has said he would sell many of the individual papers to local owners and keep the Sun and other Maryland papers.

“Alden’s track record has been clear,” said Ann Marie Lipinski, curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, and a former editor of the Chicago Tribune. “Nothing about their interest — either at Tribune or at other properties — suggests that they are motivated by a desire to enhance quality journalism in any of these communities. If there are additional financial pressures, it can only exacerbate a grim situation.”