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Aug. 9 – Leading unions and industry pundits have MUCH to say about GateHouse/New Media, the company buying SMN

Category: Local Media & Agencies

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

August 9, 2017 – in February, Ken Doctor, one of the leading newspaper industry journalists, writing for the Poynter Institute, took on the strategies of GateHouse/New Media Investment Group, including looking at the company’s series of acquisitions and jobs cuts within just the previous 12 months.

More importantly, Doctor wrote in February about who actually owns GateHouse – Fortress Investment Group.  And who controls Fortress?  “A Japanese company took control of one of America’s largest newspaper chains, New Media Investment Group, a.k.a. GateHouse Media. Tuesday’s headline: “Robotics and tech firm SoftBank Japan purchases newspaper company GateHouse Media”. As Softbank’s acquisition of New York City-based Fortress Investment Group was announced last week, it appeared, on the surface, as if the direction of more than 100 U.S. dailies would be in the hands of non-Americans,” wrote Doctor. 

He then linked SoftBank’s CEO, Masayoshi Son,  to just-elected President Donald Trump.  “Masayoshi Son had been one of the first chief executives to make the trek to Trump Tower in December, to pay fealty to the incoming president. His supposed promise, accompanied by the firm Trump hand on Son’s shoulder: $50 billion in U.S. investment, aiming to create 50,000 jobs. saying “The U.S. will become great again,” Son offered,” wrote Doctor. 

Doctor has sought to inform and raise the consciousness of readers and voters about the newspaper mega-corp that is now the largest owner of newspapers in the United States.   His full story can be found on the SBJ’s FB page.

That GateHouse has grown so large concerns many in the industry, with the potential for the company to take an editorial opinion on national issues and elections that can be impactful.  

Another vocal critic of GateHouse has been a leading industry union, the United Media Guild.  The guild, understandably not an objective news source - has written a series of articles recently about GateHouse/New Media.  They can all be found on the Guild’s website, at http://www.unitedmediaguild.org:

“New Media shareholders share UMG’s concerns about GateHouse management”, May 31, 2017 by by Jeff

Wall Street sours on New Media Investment Group as its asset-stripping accelerates,” May 15, 2017 by Jeff

GateHouse, Digital First Media workers unite to fight for quality journalism,” Apr 28, 2017 by Jeff

“The United Media Guild sees this damage daily while representing members at the Peoria Journal Star, State Journal-Register of Springfield, Rockford Register Star, Pekin Daily Times and Freeport Journal Standard,”was a recent post.

“Jeff” is not identified with a last name, but there is certainly unrest and concern across all of GateHouse’s holdings about the personnel cuts. 

Overall Rating (1)

2.5 out of 5 stars

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    • Guest - Robert Davis

      Savannah, GA 31411, USA
      Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars

      The only folks who care about the purchase are the television news departments who get their lead stories for 6pm broadcasts.

      I only subscribe SMN to get the Daily Jumble and to see if my name is in the obits.

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