Management and employees at the Denver Post are not happy with their current owner, Alden Global Capital. Alden is a New York City hedge fund which owns several newspapers, including The Post, operated by Digital First Media.
The discontent centers on Alden’s cutting staff and expenses at the paper. Editorial Page Editor Chuck Plunkett printed an edition of the paper with a series of articles decrying Alden’s ownership.
When Plunket wanted to publish a second editorial critical of Alden and DFM, he was prohibited from doing so. He subsequently resigned, citing what he called “outright censorship.” The editorial subsequently found its way into the Columbia Journalism Review. In that editorial, grievances include the assertion that “Alden . . . appears intent on reaping out-sized profits.”
What, exactly, are “out-sized profits?” Who makes that determination? Are there objective criteria to apply to profits to determine if they are out-sized or not? If they are out-sized, what should be done about it? Who should do it? What if you are making profits you think are reasonable but the entity in charge of deciding reasonable profit determines yours are out-sized? Can you appeal the determination?
It appears that perhaps “out-sized profits” is merely another way of saying “they are using their money in a way of which I disaprove.”