In Chicago, big dumb evil media company “tronc” wanted to buy the Chicago Sun-Times, which would give “tronc” total local media dominance. Instead, unions bought the dang paper. Neat! (Until they go broke.)
To be specific, a group of investors including a former Chicago alderman and a big coalition of Chicago labor unions bought the Sun-Times for a reported price of “$1 and the assumption of costs in any future shutdown.”
From a civic perspective, this is great. Instead of having one demonstrably dumbass media conglomerate owning both major papers in Chicago, you now have two separate media voices, which is an unalloyed good for any major city. The purchase also includes the venerable alt-weekly The Chicago Reader, where employees are thrilled not to owned by the tronc corporate death star. And, if you think about it, having hundreds of thousands of working Chicagoans as part owners of their own local media outlet is about as fine an example of “owners and readers having a common interest” as you could think of. Unions and local newspapers are both classic civic institutions. Putting them together is a bold and encouraging move for old-fashioned progressivism.
The downside is that newspapers are a terrible investment and there’s still a very good chance the Sun-Times could still end up in the toilet, financially speaking. But maybe not! Today is for positive thinking :)
Next, the unions should open a fast food restaurant.