NATIONAL NEWS

The Baltimore Sun bought by Sinclair media executive

Jan 15, 2024, 5:04 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) — 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 hedge fund Alden Global Capital in a private deal reached on Friday. He did not disclose how much he paid in the agreement.

Smith bought the paper with his own assets independently of Sinclair, which is known for its ownership of local television news stations across the U.S. He said, however, that there could be partnerships between the two brands in the future. He will 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 will focus on local news and investigations, and he plans to use video and social media to attract new subscribers. He will 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.

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The Baltimore Sun bought by Sinclair media executive