Hildy Zenger

Hildy Zenger is the pen name of a writer who works for a newspaper owned by a private equity firm. As newspaper buffs will recognize, Hildy is for Hildy Johnson, star reporter for the fictitious Examiner in the Hecht-MaArthur classic, The Front Page. And if you took 11th grade American history, you know that John Peter Zenger was the printer who won the 1735 court case establishing freedom of the press.

Recent Articles

Hello Digital First, Goodbye Boston Herald

The private equity company that won the bidding war for the bankrupt Herald is the most predatory of a rapacious lot.

(Emmanuel Huybrechts/Flickr)
Just before Robert Kuttner and I filed our American Prospect article on the rape of the newspaper industry by private equity predators in December ( “Saving the Free Press from Private Equity” ), the prime nemesis of our story, GateHouse Media, bid $4.5 million to buy the 171-year-old Boston Herald, which declared bankruptcy the same day. The deal was conditioned on voiding union contracts and deep-sixing legacy pension, health, and other obligations. “Major layoffs in the newspaper’s 120-person newsroom are a certainty,” we wrote, in the context of GateHouse’s dismal record of gutting editorial staffs at its 770 daily and weekly newspapers. But GateHouse was then elbowed aside by Digital First Media, whose $11.9 million bid won the February 13 bankruptcy auction in Boston, indicating that the DFM bean-counters have calculated a more profitable but probably even bloodier endgame for the venerable Herald, whose days are now surely numbered, according...