Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Rumors continue to swirl around the possible sale of the Baltimore Sun. Current owners deny it.
But as Alex DeMetrick reports, what’s black and white and red all over–in this case red ink–makes a sell-off seem highly possible.
The fortunes of the Baltimore Sun have been front page news before.
Most recently, The Tribune Company–which owns The Sun–was acquired by new owners. And those owners have now hired investment banks, which tells those who know the business:
“Well, it’s inevitable The SunPapers is going to be sold. Apparently all of the Tribune’s papers are going to be sold,” said publisher Ted Venetoulis.
The Tribune Company says:
“There is a lot of interest in our papers, which we haven’t solicited. Hiring outside financial advisors will help us determine whether that interest is credible.”
Ted Venetoulis’ own weekly county papers were bought by The Sun. He’s made no secret he’d like to return the favor.
“Yeah, absolutely. I think there will be some local buyers. Again, depends on the price, and then how much working capital you have to put in it,” he said.
That makes it an almost dead-on certainty that it will take a buyer with deep pockets. It’s already being speculated news baron Rupert Murdoch might buy the Tribune papers.
There is speculation local casino owner and developer David Cordish might gamble on The Sun. It’s also hovered from time to time around Orioles owner Peter Angelos.
Even the Abell Foundation–which originally sold The Sun to Tribune–is mentioned as a possibility, or a group of local investors might make a run. But again:
“The issue will be the price,” said Venetoulis.
What it would cost to buy and run The Sun remains the big unknown, and will until the Tribune Company opens its books to potential buyers.