Friday, April 20, 2012

Why the Examiner wants the Bay Guardian

Robert Gammon of the East Bay Express says that some people might be surprised that the Examiner, with its conservative reputation, would be buying the liberal Bay Guardian. Under owner Phil Anschutz, a Colorado billionaire oilman and real estate mogul, the Examiner became a conservative newspaper in a staunchly liberal city. For instance, the Examiner put its endorsement of McCain and Palin on its cover. 

But Gammon points out that the Examiner's new owners, a group that includes Canadian community newspaper publisher David Black, have shifted the paper's editorial page to the left of the Chronicle though not as far left as the Guardian.

The reason the Examiner would want the Guardian, however, is the business side of the transaction, Gammon says. The two papers could cut costs by combining their circulation and advertising departments, and by borrowing content from one another.

Gammon notes that the Guardian has been losing money for years, but it's also believed that the Examiner was subsidized by Anschutz's paycheck. The challenge for Examiner President and CEO Todd Vogt is to strengthen his paper, and perhaps buying the Guardian will help. Vogt along with David Black and Examiner chief financial officer Pat Brown are among the investors who own the Examiner. A previous posting on the Press Club website incorrectly suggested Black Press was the owner.

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