ALLENTOWN, Pa. - "I was in this building five years to the day almost."

But Morning Call reporter Tom Shortell says the latest news may eclipse the summer sale of the paper's Allentown headquarters.

"It's not a good day for local journalism," he said.

Tribune Publishing, the Call's parent company, announced it's being bought by New York City hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

"We've seen what Alden has done to newspapers across the country. I'm very concerned the Morning Call could meet the same fate," said Morning Call reporter and union head Peter Hall.

Through its Media News Group Alden runs 200 publications across the country.

The company did not return our call, but Hall says Alden issued a statement ensuring a commitment to the sustainability of robust local journalism. He adds their past practices don't show that.

"Almost invariably Alden takes over a newspaper and their first step is making cuts," said Evan Brandt.

Brandt, of the Pottstown Mercury, would know.

Since Alden bought the paper in 2011 the newsroom has gone from nine to three employees. He's now their only municipal reporter and the newsroom is his attic. He points to the Reading Eagle as another example. After being bought by Alden, more than 70 positions were cut.

"You don't have bodies to cover school board meetings or city council meetings," Hall said.

"There are fewer journalists to get out into the community and inform people about what is happening," Shortell added.

Will that be the case for the Call? Brandt says if so, it highlights a larger headline for the country.

"It's death by a thousand cuts. People don't really notice. Don't know what they got till it's gone," he said.

Hall said the union will fight for a new contract and if layoffs do happen they will make sure they are done in an orderly way. He also adds a bright spot to the Tribune being sold is that the Baltimore Sun and two other Maryland papers are being spun off to be run by a nonprofit.

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