The Denver Post Profits Handsomely, Even As Owner Slashes Staff

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Photo: Denver Post | News Matters Editorial Page - AP
The front page of the Perspective section of The Denver Post on Sunday, April 8, 2018. The Post's editorial columns pleading for new ownership resonated nationally.

A major Colorado company reported stellar profits last year. But here's the thing -- a lot of people think that company is on its deathbed.

The Denver Post and its sister papers across Colorado posted a 19 percent profit last year, media analyst Ken Doctor told Colorado Matters. Doctor’s analysis of financial documents provided by a source came a few weeks after the Post laid off 30 employees, bringing its newsroom staff down to 60 from a high of 300 workers several years ago.

The Post is owned by New York-based hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Nationwide, the dozens of newspapers owned by Alden posted a 17 percent profit -- about triple what comparable newspapers made. Doctor and other analysts say Alden’s strategy is to strip the newspapers of their profits for as long as possible.

The Post has published editorials criticizing Alden and is seeking new ownership. So far, Doctor says, the hedge fund is turning away all offers.

Doctor reported the earnings figures on his blog, Newsonomics.