A media company that’s owned by a hedge fund — and known for buying up distressed newspapers — has a new target. Digital First Media is offering $1.3 billion to buy Gannett Co., the publisher of USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, and more than a dozen other newspapers. The hedge fund behind the Gannett bid — Alden Global Capital — isn’t the only one interested in picking up pieces of the local news business: Fortress Investment Group and Chatham Asset Management also have significant investments in the sector, too. It turns out that a dead-tree medium that’s been struggling since the day Craigslist went online can still be profitable — once newsroom staff’s been cut to the bone.
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