By David Danbom . – (Loveland CO) Reporter-Herald
The newspaper business is dying. Newsrooms are going dark all over the country, and most of those that remain are operated by skeleton staffs, just enough reporters and editors to produce a handful of stories to keep the ads apart.
This situation has not spared the Loveland Reporter-Herald or the Denver Post. They are owned by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund run by people who know a lot about making money and not much about journalism. They have cut staffs repeatedly, diminished the quality of the product, and even moved both papers out of the cities on their mastheads. And they have relentlessly raised the price of the newspapers purchased by customers who are more loyal to print journalism than is Alden itself. We now pay over $80 per month for the two papers — about $1,000 a year.
Why do we pay so much for so little? Are we suckers, fattening Alden’s purse while it prepares to close up the papers and leave town? Maybe, but I like to think commitment and habit play a role. We believe in journalism. My mother was a journalist, and I worked for the Post when I was young. To us, newspapers are essential to the health of our society. On a less elevated note, we like to read the papers when we have our coffee in the morning.