[PHOTOS] ‘Orlando Sentinel’ staff rally against hedge fund buyout at Lake Eola

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From shady Seminole County politicians to tax-dodging corporations, journalists at the Orlando Sentinel were behind some incredibly important stories over the last 12 months. But despite it all, the paper is at a crucial junction in its 145-year lifespan.

The Sentinel's parent company, Tribune Publishing, is at risk of being purchased by notorious media meat-grinder Alden Global Capital, a vulture capitalist hedge fund with a reputation of stripping  local newspapers down to the bones, and spitting out a news-like brochure to collect ads.

Like just about every other Tribune paper across the country, staff from the paper's OS Guild union held a rally at Lake Eola on Saturday to urge Trib ownership to vote "no" at an upcoming May 21 board meeting about the potential buyout. OS Guild is hoping ownership will reject Alden's low ball offer, and instead look to Maryland businessman Stewart Bainum.

"The Sentinel Guild is strongly in favor of local ownership," said Lisa Maria Garza, Sentinel Guild co-chair, in an interview with Orlando Weekly. "We've heard Mr. Bainum hasn't thrown in the towel on gathering civic-minded investors to help him put together a superior bid for Tribune, and that's exactly why we're advocating for shareholders to vote 'NO' on May 21."

Saturday's rally attracted wide support from local leaders like State Reps Carlos Guillermo Smith and Anna Eskamani, as well as a crowd of locals eager to not see the total obliteration of the area's primary source of news.  - Colin Wolf 

This post originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

| Photos by Dave Decker

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