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The Chicago Tribune office. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lee Enterprises on Wednesday said its board of directors unanimously voted to adopt a new measure that would make it harder for Alden Global Capital — a hedge fund known for consolidating local newspapers — to buy out the publicly-traded firm.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, local reporters and journalism advocates have been sounding the alarm over Alden's unsolicited bid. Alden is known for buying local newspaper companies and instituting deep cuts to squeeze profits.

  • A spokesperson for Alden Global Capital did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Details: Lee Enterprises' board voted to adopt a shareholder “rights plan" that gives shareholders more time to review Alden's proposal "without undue pressure," the company's chairman Mary Junck said in a statement.

  • The new measure, dubbed a "poison pill" in the business industry, would kick in if Alden were to take a 10% stake or more in the company's outstanding common stock.
  • At that point, shareholders would have the ability to purchase shares at a 50% discount, diluting the stock and making it more costly for Alden to increase its stake in the company.
  • The plan expires within a year unless Lee Enterprises terminates it sooner. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Lee Enterprises' plan on Wednesday.

Be smart: In a statement, Lee's Board said it was taking these actions in response to "Alden’s track record of rapidly acquiring substantial control or 'negative control' positions in other public companies" and "its seemingly inconsistent disclosures" on regulatory forms regarding its ownership of Lee’s shares.

  • Alden Global Capital bought out the remainder of Tribune Publishing in February, after increasing its stake in the company from 25% to 33%.

Catch up quick: Lee Enterprises executives said earlier this week that consistent with its fiduciary duties, it was obliged to review the unsolicited bid.

  • Alden Global Capital on Monday offered to acquire Lee Enterprises for $24 per share, a 30% premium on Lee's share price at market close last Friday.

The big picture: Local newspaper companies are increasingly being swallowed up by private investment firms that aren't incentivized to invest in their longevity, causing concern about the future of local news.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

5 hours ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.