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Tribune shareholders vote to approve takeover by cost-cutting hedge fund Alden

Shareholders for Tribune Publishing voted to approve a roughly $630 million takeover of its newspaper company by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for cutting journalists at local papers to maximize profits.

Why it matters: A takeover almost certainly means job cuts at many of America’s most storied local papers, including The Chicago Tribune and The New York Daily News.


Between the lines: Journalists have been pleading with their communities to find a buyer to save the papers.

  • A last-minute bid from a hotel magnate almost derailed the Alden deal, but ultimately fell apart when the suitor couldn’t pull together enough cash to compete with Alden.
  • Unions representing journalists at many of Tribune's newspapers issued a statement on Friday expressing frustration that the shareholders had "voted to put profit and greed over local news in our country."

The big picture: Local newspapers have struggled to find their footing in the internet era, leading to dramatic consolidation. Hedge firms and private equity companies are increasingly consolidating local titles to cut costs for profit.

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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