Denver Post editor resigns after publishing editorial that savaged the owners

Last month, the editorial page editor of the Denver Post published a scathing editorial target the paper's owners, Alden Global Capital. Alden is a New York hedge fund that has been laying off hundreds of staffers at the Post in an effort to salvage the newspaper.

But editor Charles Plunkett got little response from Alden to his criticisms, leading to his resignation yesterday.

The Hill:

“It’s a tragedy what Alden Global Capital is doing to its newsrooms and what it’s doing to The Denver Post,” Plunkett told Denverite. “It’s an act of apostasy to our profession and I could no longer abide it.”

Colleagues praised Plunkett for his work and fearless attitude.

In an editorial published April 6, Plunkett fiercely criticized Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that owns The Denver Post and several other papers across the country.

“Since Alden took control, the decline of local news has been as obvious as it’s been precipitous,” he wrote. 

“The smart money is that in a few years The Denver Post will be rotting bones. And a major city in an important political region will find itself without a newspaper,” he continued. 

The photo associated with the column, which shows the sharp reduction in staff when the paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 compared to its staff in April, quickly went viral. 

Plunkett is living in the 20th century. The notion that all would be well with the paper if they only had more useless employees is absurd. Is it "apostasy" for an owner to demand that the company make a profit? What does Plunkett believe the Post to be? A charity?

The "apostasy" Plunkett refers to is that newspapers - and the press in general - hold an exalted position in America and how dare anyone put money before advocacy? Quaint 19th century notions about the role of newspapers in American life is no substitute for the realistic view that the media, as we know it, is on the way out - going the way of blacksmiths and wheelwrights. I doubt that the Post wrote very many editorials 120 years ago when the automobile made such jobs obsolete.

So why should anyone care if it's their turn to go extinct?

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