TV Mogul Buys Baltimore Sun

David D. Smith, executive chair of Sinclair Inc., has scooped up Maryland's biggest newspaper
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 16, 2024 8:28 AM CST
TV Mogul Buys Baltimore Sun
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Daniel Tadevosyan)

The Baltimore Sun newspaper has been purchased by David D. Smith, the executive chairman of the media conglomerate Sinclair Inc. Smith told the newspaper he acquired Baltimore Sun Media from the investment firm Alden Global Capital in a private deal reached on Friday. He didn't disclose how much he paid in the agreement, per the AP. Smith bought the paper with his own assets, independently of Sinclair, which is known for its ownership of local television news stations across the US. He said, however, that there could be partnerships between the two brands in the future. He'll remain the executive chairman at Sinclair.

"I'm in the news business because I believe ... we have an absolute responsibility to serve the public interest," Smith told the Sun in an interview. "I think the paper can be hugely profitable and successful and serve a greater public interest over time." Smith told the paper he'll focus on local news and investigations, and that he plans to use video and social media to attract new subscribers. He'll begin meeting with staffers and managers of the Sun and its sister outlets on Tuesday. Smith said he only began regularly reading the Sun a few months ago but had been interested in buying the media group around two years ago.

"The passage of time has driven me to become more focused on it, and it just seemed like the right time, so I made the deal," Smith told the paper. The sale to Smith comes after Alden bought the paper in 2021 as part of a $633 million purchase of the Chicago-based Tribune Publishing newspaper company. Baltimore Sun Media, winner of 16 Pulitzer Prizes, employs more than 150 people and publishes seven other publications aside from the Sun, with more than 230,000 paid subscribers total. The Sun was founded in 1837 and has since become the largest newspaper in Maryland. Sinclair, meanwhile, has previously drawn controversy in the media world; more here on that.

(More Baltimore Sun stories.)

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