The weakness of traditional media created an opportunity for Alden. Ironically, it may now benefit from a change in the terms of trade with tech giants via the titles it has acquired. Newspaper businesses outside the Murdoch empire, including the Financial Times, can be expected to seek deals of their own.
Google evidently saw a push by Australia, the country that spawned News Corp, to make tech giants pay up for journalism as a threat to forestall. The transition from tech disrupter to regulated online utility is under way.
Details were not disclosed and may yet disappoint, as with previous such deals. But there can now only be one direction of travel in the relationship between traditional private sector news media and Silicon Valley.
Cheques from the West Coast of the US will increasingly supplement online subscriptions – still a work in progress for many media groups – and grim rounds of cost cutting.