Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big newspaper merger ahead?

Freedom Communications and MediaNews, both partially owned by the same capital management group, Alden Global Capital as part of their emergence from bankruptcy, could merge.

It seems pretty clear this is NOT MediaNews driving the process. Dean-O, Dean Singleton, CEO of pre-bankruptcy MediaNews, is being kicked upstairs:
MediaNews on Tuesday announced a series of management changes under which current chairman and chief executive William Dean Singleton will relinquish his CEO role and become executive chairman of the Denver-based company. In a news release, MediaNews said the moves, which also include the hiring of three new directors, will "position the company to identify, pursue and execute on strategic consolidation opportunities."

That said, they aren't the only merger possibilities on Alden's list.

The recession and its fallout have depressed media properties. With folks like Alden either in control, or threatening to become in control, of more and more media chains, they're surely going to throw their weight around more.

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