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Sentinel Guild Vows To Keep Searching For Local Buyer For Newspaper

Image: Orlando Sentinel Logo, orlandoweekly.com
Image: Orlando Sentinel Logo, orlandoweekly.com

The union representing newsroom staff at the Orlando Sentinel says it won’t stop trying to find local owners for the paper. 

Shareholders at the Sentinel’s parent company Tribune Publishing voted on Friday to approve the sale of the newspaper chain to Alden Global Capital. The hedge fund is known for buying newspapers and cutting budgets to boost profits. 

"The purchase of Tribune reaffirms our commitment to the newspaper industry and our focus on getting publications to a place where they can operate sustainably over the long term," said Alden president Heath Freeman in a statement.

Unions for newsrooms at Tribune Publishing newspapers, released a joint statement condemning the sale.

"Today, Tribune Publishing shareholders voted to put profit and greed over local news in our country," they said. 

Gabrielle Russon, business reporter and co-chair of the Sentinel Guild, said the sale is disappointing. 

“That push to get local, civic minded owners is not going to stop, and I think it’s now more important than ever," said Russon.

"For the right price, I think maybe Alden would be willing to sell the Orlando Sentinel. So, you know we are not giving up, and we still need to fight for local owners for the Orlando Sentinel.”

"You know there's not much left to cut at our local newspapers other than staff, and we're already bare bones. People are juggling multiple beats. People are struggling to find time to do enterprise, investigative work because they're writing so many stories," said Russon.

Julie Anderson, editor in chief of the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun Sentinel, said the sale won't affect the newspaper's mission. 

“We remain committed to serving the community with journalism that makes a difference in our readers’ lives. Our mission inspires us every day, and that doesn’t change with new owners.”