Hedge-fund-backed media group eyes Gannett papers; shrinking regional universities explored

Of note: An investment group is targeting Gannett, whose holdings include 11 Wisconsin newspapers and USA Today. Former WCIJ reporting intern Cara Lombardo, now with the Wall Street Journal, had the scoop. Another former WCIJ intern Nick Penzenstadler, now of USA Today, has helped lead the coverage, which focuses on the investment group’s history of gutting newspapers after acquiring them.

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Hedge-fund-backed media group prepares bid for Gannett

The Wall Street Journal — January 14, 2019

A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs is planning to make an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett, according to people familiar with the matter. Related coverage: Hedge-fund vultures eye Gannett; Hedge fund’s ambition to dominate newspaper industry raises fear of a local news ‘death spiral.’

Students in rural America ask, ‘What is a university without a history major?’

The New York Times — January 12, 2019

Financial and enrollment woes at schools like the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point have led to a scramble for fixes, such as dropping longstanding liberal arts degrees.

She collapsed next to the best stroke center. Her ambulance was turned away. It was policy. She died.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — January 17, 2019

When Tiffany Tate collapsed next to one of the best stroke hospitals in the state, a little-known policy meant that the ambulance couldn’t take her there.

Lame duck voting laws violate 2016 court order, federal judge rules

Wisconsin State Journal — January 18, 2019

U.S. District Judge James Peterson said that parts of the lame duck legislation passed by the Legislature in December and signed by Gov. Scott Walker violate a court order issued in 2016 that voided similar voting restrictions. Previously from WCIJ: Voter ID linked to lower turnout in Wisconsin, other states; students, people of color most affected.

Farm country stood by Trump. But the shutdown is pushing it to breaking point.

The New York Times — January 10, 2019

As the government shutdown dragged into its third week, many farmers were struggling under the loss of crucial loans, payments and other services.

Wisconsin Watch

The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.