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Why Buy a Yacht When You Can Buy a Newspaper?

Mr. Zell, the true property maverick and billionaire whose nickname is “the grave dancer,” took Tribune Publishing personal in a leveraged buyout in 2007. The company filed for chapter the subsequent year. His temporary tenure helped set in movement the occasions resulting in the Alden Capital bid.

Other rescuers have come and gone. There was a time when Warren Buffett seemed like a potential savior for newspapers, investing in them via his company, Berkshire Hathaway. He has since overwhelmed a retreat from the trade. And there have even been reviews that Dr. Soon-Shiong has explored a sale of The Los Angeles Times (which he has denied).

“The great fear of every billionaire is that by owning a newspaper they will become a millionaire,” stated Mr. Rosenstiel.

Elizabeth Green, co-founder and chief govt at Chalkbeat, a nonprofit schooling information group with 30 reporters in eight cities across the nation, stated that rescuing a dozen metro dailies which can be “obviously shells of their former selves” was by no means going to be sufficient to show across the native information business.

“Even these attempts are still preserving institutions that were always flawed and not leaning into the new information economy and how we all consume and learn and pay for things,” stated Ms. Green, who additionally co-founded the American Journalism Project, which is working to create a community of nonprofit shops.

Ms. Green will not be alone in her perception that the way forward for American journalism lies in new types of journalism, usually as nonprofits. The American Journalism Project acquired funding from the Houston philanthropists Laura and John Arnold, the Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective, which additionally purchased The Atlantic. Herbert and Marion Sandler, who constructed one of many nation’s largest financial savings and loans, gave money to start out ProPublica.

“We’re seeing a lot of growth of relatively small nonprofits that are now part of what I would call the philanthropic journalistic complex,” stated Mr. Doctor. “The question really isn’t corporate structure, nonprofit or profit, the question is money and time.”