Now in the News: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Printing Plant Sold To Chicago Tribune Affiliate

October 21, 2022

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Printing Plant Sold To Chicago Tribune Affiliate

Twenty Lake Holdings LLC, a real estate affiliate of Tribune owner Alden Global Capital, bought the facility for $26 million An affiliate of the owner of The Chicago Tribune has purchased The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s closed printing plant in West Milwaukee.

Twenty Lake Holdings LLC, a real estate affiliate of Tribune owner Alden Global Capital, bought the facility for $26 million, our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal report. Journal-Sentinel owner Gannett closed the plant at 4101 W. Burnham St. in May amid falling newspaper circulation. The closure meant 180 full-time and part-time workers lost their jobs.

Alden Global Capital is best known for purchasing large newspapers and aggressively cutting costs. Their papers include The Denver Post, Boston Herald and The Baltimore Sun.

Twenty Lake Holdings has been described as a ‘corporate relative’ of Alden Global Capital, according to the BizJournal.

Chicago news columnist Robert Feder previously reported that the Tribune is expected to be printed on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s former presses by mid-2023. The Tribune is currently printed at the leased Chicago Tribune Freedom Center in Chicago, but there are efforts to turn that building into a casino.

Washington Ag Seeks To Fine Meta $25 Million Over Political Ads

Facebook parent Meta should be fined nearly $25 million for “repeatedly and intentionally” violating a state campaignfinance disclosure law, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson argues.

Meta “has spent years blatantly disregarding Washington’s Commercial Advertiser Law and making empty promises of transparency,” the attorney general’s office writes in papers filed last week with King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North. “The time has come to hold Meta accountable.”

Last month, North ruled that Facebook committed 822 violations of a Washington law requiring companies that accept political ads to make information about them publicly available.

The judge noted that three people — including journalist Eli Sanders, who has reported extensively on online political advertising — requested information from Facebook about political ads.

“Meta never provided all of the required information in response to any of these requests,” North wrote. “In the instances that Meta provided some information beyond what is publicly available in the Ad Library, Meta’s response often took weeks or months and was incomplete when provided.”

The ruling came in Ferguson’s 2020 lawsuit alleging that Facebook not only violated the state’s transparency law, but also reneged on a prior promise to stop accepting political ads in the state.

The Government Is Not Going To Spend Billions On Local News.

Washington Post columnist Perry Bacon Jr. offered a provocative idea today: a $10 billion fund to pay for nonpaywalled, nonprofit local news in each of the country’s 435 congressional districts. The money, he wrote, would provide salaries for 87,000 journalists at 1,300 news organizations. “Such a massive investment in local news isn’t going to happen next week and probably not next year, either,” he wrote. “But it is also not a pipe dream.” Well, in fact, it is a pipe dream. There is little or no chance of anything like this happening, and it probably shouldn’t.

At a time when Congress can’t seem to pass supposedly bipartisan proposals to let the news industry negotiate with Facebook and Google for a share of their advertising revenues (the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act) or to provide tax credits to subscribers, advertiser and publishers (the Local Journalism Sustainability Act), the idea that the government is going to cough up $10 billion to support local news is absurd.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to Bacon’s top-down approach. Across the country, hundreds of local and regional news startups — nonprofits, for-profits and volunteer efforts — are going about the hard work of covering their communities. We’ve seen a plethora of them debut in Eastern Massachusetts just this year since Gannett began regionalizing and closing its weekly newspapers. And a brand-new one, The Concord Bridge, is slated to launch later this week.

The grassroots, one-community-at-a-time approach to solving the local news crisis is not perfect. It can be purely a matter of luck that one town gets good coverage and another doesn’t. It’s also easier to start such projects in the affluent suburbs than it is in more diverse areas. But the movement is growing, so perhaps the best thing we can do is let it develop.

As you probably know, Ellen Clegg and I are writing a book about a few of these projects that will be called “What Works: The Future of Local News.” Last year we wrote what might be called a “pretort” to Bacon’s column in an essay for Nieman Lab. Please have a look.

Newspapers With A Partisan Aim Filling The Void Of Traditional Media

The Pennsylvania Independent, The Michigan Independent and The Wisconsin Independent — a newspaper by the liberal-leaning American Independent Foundation and partner groups. (The American Independent) Pennsylvania’s most widely circulated newspaper showed up, without fanfare or explanation, in the mailboxes of about 1 in every 5 households in the state this April.

A 12-page tabloid with a circulation of 953,000, it has arrived every month since, with articles from the Associated Press, crosswords, recipes and useful updates on which nearby towns had the lowest gas prices. But nowhere in its pages does it disclose its true mission.

The Pennsylvania Independent is, in fact, a new sort of political-journalism hybrid becoming more popular on the left

— just one part of a quiet four-state, $28 million election year effort by the liberal-leaning American Independent Foundation and partner groups aimed at swaying voters in the midterm elections.

Only the articles offer a clue of the underlying intent: A piece in the October issue described the opposition to “any gun safety measures” by “New Jersey resident” Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania. Other stories detailed President Biden’s domestic manufacturing initiative, Republican denials of the 2020 election results and a proposal for a national abortion ban by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.). “All of the reporting that we put in the papers is fact-checked and verified,” said Jessica McCreight, a former Democratic consultant who serves as executive editor of the operation. “It just so happens that it is Republicans doing bad things and Democrats doing good things.”

The Independent has quietly positioned itself on the edge of an emerging and controversial industry fueled by ideological donors who are looking to further political agendas with the trappings of old-fashioned journalism, down to the ornate Gothic nameplate fonts.