Journalists from other Tribune newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune and The Daily News, have opposed the possible sale to Alden since the New York Hedge Fund announced in November 2019 that it had bought nearly a third of the Tribune's shares. Two Chicago Tribune investigative reporters wrote letters asking citizens to buy the newspaper. Other journalists across the country launched campaigns similar to the Save Our Sun efforts.
They wanted to be saved from Alden, whose schedule for newspapers, which he owns through a subsidiary, the MediaNews Group, includes cutting costs, including firing journalists to maintain profit margins. Alden says it is interested in finding a sustainable path for local journalism. Critics say the hedge fund treats newspapers like widgets.
"The role of journalism in democracy is incredibly important to Stewart," said Michael Rosenbaum, a Baltimore entrepreneur who spoke about The Sun with Mr. Bainum, an investor in his people research firm.
Alden's deal to take full ownership of Tribune Publishing requires the approval of the company's shareholders, and the deal to sell The Sun and the other Maryland stocks is "not binding," Tribune Publishing said. As part of the acquisition, Mr. Bainum's nonprofit would also acquire the Annapolis Capital Gazette and the Carroll County Times. A filing for approval filed on Wednesday resulted in a purchase price of $ 65 million for The Sun and the other newspapers.
"He seems to have the best interests of Baltimore and Maryland in his heart," said Liz Bowie, a three-decade Sun veteran and co-chair of the NewsGuild union unit. "I think a new owner, a local owner, will put our profits back into the newspaper so we can do better."
Recognition…Andrew Gombert / European Press Photo Agency
The subject Mr. Bainum loves most, said Mr. Maloney, his longtime friend, is early childhood education. The Bainum Family Foundation website explains its philosophy in practical terms: "Childhood poverty, and particularly deep poverty in early childhood, is associated with a variety of problems."
"He knows a table," said Maloney. “He's not about impractical or unsuccessful philanthropy. He is compassionate but very pragmatic. He wants his investments to work. "
Kitty Bennett contributed to the research.