Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hedge fund purchases paper, what are they betting on?

A hedge fund recently purchased a newspaper that had pulled itself out of bankruptcy. The York City-based investment firm, Alden Global Capital, apparently first came on scene after the newspaper filed Chapter 11 with a small investment in the company.

All debts 'paid.' Alden purchased the paper.

The paper is the Journal Register located in Philadelphia. In order to increase the chance of viability, it made significant strides in expanding its digital presence, moving from emphasis on print to emphasizing online. This re-positioning ignited the belief in the investment community that this newspaper will survive.

Could the belief in newspaper survival happen closer to home? If that concept sparks you. You have the opportunity to take it to the next level.

The Vancouver Voice is an alternative paper in Southwest Washington. In September 2010, it threw out a life line and expanded into North Portland. It was more of a flare gun shooting into the dark than an arrow fired at the bull's eye of good sense.

Their next big decision was to put the paper up for sale.

For $75,000 you can sit in the publisher's seat and drive. Where you would take the publication seems up to speculation. Local discussion on the content is not necessarily flattering. Response from advertisers is that it's cheap, not necessarily that it works. To survive the business needs consistent content and advertisers who understand they should buy what adds value not what seems like a good deal.

Here's your chance to add value to the community.

Save a newspaper. Buy the Vancouver Voice.

But first thing I'd recommend is negotiating the asking price.

Read more:
Biz For Sale: monthly alternative newspaper, Vancouver Voice.
July 14, Times Union report, Albany New York.
July 14, Times Union Blog, Albany New York.
July 15, Times Union report, Albany New York.