The Chicago Tribune Is Being Murdered Before Our Eyes

And it’s a serial killing

Cory Doctorow
GEN
Published in
9 min readOct 16, 2021

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Last May, the profitable Chicago Tribune was acquired by the notorious vulture firm Alden Global Capital. They suffered waves of downsizing, including a sell-off of the iconic Tribute Building. Today, a skeleton crew puts out the Trib from “a newsroom the size of a Chipotle.”

In a long, deeply reported article about Alden for The Atlantic, McKay Coppins catalogs the civic losses that Chicago suffered when its major daily newspaper was bought and strangled by Alden and its secretive, far-right owners.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/11/alden-global-capital-killing-americas-newspapers/620171/

“After a powerful Illinois state legislator resigned amid bribery allegations, the paper didn’t have a reporter in Springfield to follow the scandal. And when Chicago suffered a brutal summer crime wave, the paper had no one on night shift to listen to the police scanner.”

Remember, the Tribune was profitable. So were many of the 200+ other newspapers that Alden now controls, and which it is slowly strangling.

If you learned about business from Econ 101 high school civics, this is baffling. How is it good business to buy a profitable business and render it UNprofitable?

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Cory Doctorow
GEN
Writer for

Writer, blogger, activist. Blog: https://pluralistic.net; Mailing list: https://pluralistic.net/plura-list; Mastodon: @pluralistic@mamot.fr