“Yes, the company is in the black,” says Light. “The economy is helping, but mostly this is the result of the efforts of the people that [new owner Platinum Equity] has brought in…. Thanks to that team, we have a strong U-T once again.”
Employees will not be comforted by that statement. Platinum Equity is a private equity organization. It buys assets cheap and attempts to sell them dear. All too often, a private equity group achieves profitability by juggling the books or making only cosmetic changes. With all the employment slashes, the media company should be making money again. But does the profitability result from all the layoffs or from significantly enhanced revenue? If the U-T is now making money, will Platinum, which paid an extremely low price for it and whose normal holding period is three to five years, be putting it on the market again soon? And will employees go through the same kind of shake-ups for a new owner?
And will the intellectual community be supporting the paper?