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Sinclair chairman buys Baltimore Sun newspaper

Broadcaster says it is not involved in the transaction.

Broadcaster says it is not involved in the transaction.

The former headquarters of the Baltimore Sun newspaper in Port Covington. (Photo by Maryland Stater via Wikimedia Commons)
The former headquarters of the Baltimore Sun newspaper in Port Covington. (Photo by Maryland Stater via Wikimedia Commons)

The executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group has acquired the Baltimore Sun from Alden Global Capital’s media arm Digital First Media, the company announced on Monday.

The purchase of the Baltimore Sun by David D. Smith returns the newspaper to local ownership for the first time in nearly four decades, the newspaper said.

The transaction includes the Capital Gazette newspapers in several other communities, along with a handful of other Baltimore-area weeklies and magazines.

“I’m in the news business because I believe … we have an absolute responsibility to serve the public interest,” Smith said in an interview published by the Baltimore Sun on Monday. “I think the paper can be hugely profitable and successful and serve a greater public interest over time. We have one job, to tell the truth, present the facts, period. That’s our job.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Alden purchased the Sun and other newspapers as part of a broader acquisition of Tribune Publishing in 2021; that deal was valued at $633 million.

Smith is the executive chairman of Sinclair, one of the largest owners of local broadcast television stations in the country. In a statement sent to The Desk on Monday, a Sinclair spokesperson affirmed Smith purchased the Sun with his own money, and that the broadcaster was not involved in the transaction.

“Mr. Smith will continue to be our Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board,” the Sinclair spokesperson affirmed.

Smith has spent nearly his entire executive career at Sinclair, joining the company as its president and chief executive in 1988. He became the chairman of Sinclair’s board in 1990 and has served as its executive chairman since 2017.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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