He tried and failed to buy the Baltimore Sun. Now Maryland hotel mogul Stewart W. Bainum Jr. is creating an ambitious publication meant to compete with him.
The planned digital medium, The Baltimore Banner, have an annual operating budget of $ 15 million, and Mr. Bainum is now looking to hire an editor and a team of 50 journalistes, press consultant Imtiaz Patel, adviser to Mr Bainum, said Thursday.
M r. Bainum's goal, Patel added, is to build Maryland's largest newsroom - more than 100 journalists - and rely on subion sales to ensure sustainability. The Baltimore Banner will be operated as a non-profit organization and will not offer print editions. The Atlantic first declared Mr. Bainum's plans on Thursday.
The Creation of the Baltimore banner is a side result of last year's biggest newspaper deal, when hedge fund Alden Global Capital abought Tribune Publishing , the company behind The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and other major metropolitan dailies, in a deal valued at $ 630 million.
Months before Tribune shareholders approved the sale, Alden Global Capital announced that it had entered into a non-binding agreement to sell The Sun to Mr. Bainum for $ 65 million upon completion of the larger acquisition. M. Bainum's plan was to turn the 184-year-old newspaper into a nonprofit that would run it as a public trust.
This agreement has however failed, leaving Mr. Bainum to try the target set up newThe offerings for Tribune Publishing as a whole. These attempts were unsuccessful, but Mr. Bainum did not lose interest in becoming an editor.
"He has this vision to build the true alternative benchmark paper and to invest the resources it would have put in The Sun, "Advisor Mr. Patel said Thursday.
A native of Takoma Park, Md., Mr. Bainum is the president of Choice Hotels International , a former family business which is one of the The world's largest hotel chains, including the Comfort Inn and Quality Inn brands. A longtime Democrat, he served in the Maryland state legislature from 1979 to 1987.
When assembling the offers for Tribune Publishing moreearly this year he hoped to find local, civic benefactors ready to appropriate the individual papers of the company, a group of mass-circulation dailies that include Le Hartford Coura nt , The Orlando Sentinel and The Daily News .
Reporters from several Tribune newspapers publicly supported Mr. Bainum's efforts to buy the company , and many of them have publicly criticized Alden Global Capital, which has a reputation for drastically cutting costs in the dozens of newspapers it owns via a subsidiary , MediaNews Group.