Rich newspaper owners: Industry saviors or foes? – CNBC

The trend of rich, influence peddlers buying U.S. newspapers, which harkens back to the ownership models of the early to mid-1900s, has been propelled by bargain prices caused by industrywide declines in ad revenue and print readership.

New owners at the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Minneapolis Star-Tribune are giving their employees breathing room while making investments to experiment with digital products and other initiatives, Doctor said.

“The private owners have provided the gift of more time, not unlimited time, but more time to try and figure it out,” Doctor said.

Neal Justin, co-chair of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Guild, said Taylor has employed a hands-off approach since he bought the paper in 2014 and brought stability to a publication that went through a series of owners that included a huge media company and a hedge fund.

“To have somebody who is from the area, who cares about the area, who is in vested in the area, it makes a difference,” Justin said.

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