Baltimore Sun sold to president of Sinclair Television Stations

The Baltimore Sun, Maryland’s largest newspaper, has been sold to David D. Smith, chief executive of the Sinclair national network of television and other media stations.

Smith, who grew up in Baltimore, bought Baltimore Sun Media, which includes The Sun, in a private deal from Alden Global Capital, an investment firm that has become the country’s second-largest newspaper operator. Sun Media also includes The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, and several other Baltimore area publications.

It was unclear how much Smith paid for Baltimore Sun Media.

Triffon G. Alatzas, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Sun, said in an email to the newsroom on Monday that Smith had purchased The Sun “to support his hometown newspaper.” Alatzas said Smith would meet with The Sun staff on Tuesday.

in a interview with the newspaperMr Smith said: “We have an absolute responsibility to serve the public interest,” adding: “I believe the newspaper can be enormously profitable and successful and serve a greater public interest over time.”

Like many urban newspapers, The Sun has seen its Circulation and advertising revenues are eroded. as readers have moved online to get their news. Alden, who acquired The Sun in 2021 when he bought Chicago-based newspaper Tribune Publishing chain, has been aggressive in reducing costs.

The Sun, which dates back to 1837, also faces competition from The Baltimore Flag, a not-for-profit subscription website that went live in 2022 after hiring some of The Sun’s top reporters. The Banner was started by Stewart Bainum Jr., a hotel magnate and former politician who tried unsuccessfully to buy the sun.

The Sun will now have a local owner for the first time in almost four decades. It had been owned by Times Mirror, a Los Angeles-based media company that included The Los Angeles Times, before being sold to the Tribune Company.

Baltimore Sun Media has more than 150 employees across its publications, with more than 230,000 paid subscribers for its print and digital editions.

The Sun will remain distinct from Sinclair, which is based in Maryland and owns about 200 television stations, including the Fox affiliate in Baltimore. In 2018, Sinclair sparked backlash when anchors at its stations were ordered to read an editorial about media bias. Mr. Smith strongly disagreed with the criticisms of the scripts.

Smith is the latest wealthy investor to try to revive a news organization in recent years. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong bought The Los Angeles Times in 2018and Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, bought The Washington Post in 2013.

Baltimore Sun Media has won 16 Pulitzer Prizes. The Capital Gazette won a special Pulitzer Mention for its coverage of a shooting attack that killed five employees in its offices in June 2018.