The Orlando Sentinel, one of central Florida’s largest newspapers and a source of theme park news for many, is being sued for months of back rent by its landlord.
As if that’s not bad enough,the parent company of the Sentinel — Tribune Publishing — is also fending off a takeover by Alden Global Capital.
From The Orlando Weekly…
The Miami-based landlord Orlando Opportunities South B LLC and Midtown Opportunities VIB LLC sued both the Sentinel and parent company, Tribune Publishing Co., on June 18 for rent money owed on its 18-acre downtown campus.
Tribune Publishing – which owns multiple newspapers around the country including the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and the South Florida Sun Sentinel – had earlier noted in a June SEC filing that it was withholding rent payments for a “majority of its facilities” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, publisher Nancy A. Meyer sent a memo to staff this week confirming the SEC filing: “Consistent with our past internal messaging and communication from Tribune Publishing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, many of our facilities withheld rent in April, May and June due to the pandemic.”
Times are probably tight for the Orlando Sentinel, hence its decision to skip out on rent for the past few months.
Legacy media — especially newspapers — are rapidly dwindling and consolidating under lockdown. Ad revenue has declined, especially in sports and tourism-related industries — mainstays for Florida media. Many digital media outlets are even finding it hard to stay afloat.
No tourism, no theme parks, no real news. No justification for keeping reporters that cover those topics on staff when the chips are down.
Having been a former newspaper editor myself, it’ll be interesting to see what’s left of American newspapers once the country comes out of quarantine. Even competitor The Orlando Weekly had to lay off staff at the beginning of the quarantine, which the Orlando Sentinel crowed about.
Now they’re reporting on their own financial woes.
Oh, the irony.
[Source: Orlando Weekly]