Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday warned an effort by a hedge fund-owned newspaper company to acquire Gannett Co. could further cripple local newspapers across the country.
Schumer, the New York Democrat, spoke on the Senate floor about a potential agreement to avoid another government shutdown, but then implored his colleagues to consider the implications of the bid by MNG Enterprises Inc., also known as Digital First Media, to purchase Gannett.
“What was already an overburdened, under-resourced operation now faces potential annihilation by an indifferent media conglomerate backed by an even more indifferent hedge fund,” Schumer said.
“What do we do about this?”
The $1.8 billion unsolicited bid by MNG has been rejected by Gannett, which has more than 100 local media brands that includes six news organizations in New York.
MNG and Gannett are in a high-stakes battle, and MNG is looking to win control of the Gannett board of directors by nominating its own slate of candidates.
In his speech, Schumer said he spoke last week at the Newseum about the current challenges facing the U.S. press.