Dean Singleton honored in Harper’s Magazine for being a complete douche

The September issue of Harper’s Magazine contains a fascinating story about Dean Singleton, owner of MediaNews Group, the privately held media behemoth that currently owns 56 daily newspapers including our very own Times-Standard.

According to “The Only Game In Town,” David Sirota recounts instances when Singleton:

  • Ignored or killed stories critical of candidates he supported
  • Concealed evidence that would hurt his friends and allies
  • Strong-armed endorsements from his editorial boards
  • Ran competitors out of business and then gutted staff

The article states that Singleton also, “without a hint of modesty,” allowed the Denver Post which he owns to run an article labeling himself “the Superman of the American newspaper industry.”

Aw, shucks!

Since forcing the Post‘s competitor the Rocky Mountain News out of business, Sirota writes, “Singleton has become even more blatant in his embrace of Charles Foster Kane’s famous dictum: People will think ‘what I tell them to think.’”

What a guy. While he cuts newspapers to the bone, Singleton brags about how many ranches he has, and how good the view is from his new $85 million headquarters building in Denver.

Meanwhile, we’ve got three news reporters at the Times-Standard, an editor determined not to stick her head out of the hole for any reason, and a citizenry that knows almost nothing about what goes on around it.

As for prospects for the future, Sirota holds out little hope:

But with newspaper monopolies hanging on for now, using their trusted brands to tilt the political and cultural terrain, things will almost certainly get worse before they get better.

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7 Responses

  1. T-S. wins, E-R loses

  2. I often reflect back on the days when the T-S was really great. Remember when there was John Driscoll, Chris Durant and that other heroin junky fat guy? What’s his name? Oh, and Andy Bird, who went on to become a full-time blog commenter for the state. Those were the days!

  3. Well, some local blogs support T-S by linking to all their “now stories” instead of doing better stories themselves. It is as if these local blog moderators got together and divied-up their media roles/assignments. Apparantly, the only thing keeping T-S bobbing above the water surface is the outsourcing by other local blogs that link the T-S. So, get the reader to go to a blog; then, get that blog to link their viewer with that of the T-S website. T-S will stick around as long as the local looney blog moderators conspire to include T-S instead of doing better journalism than what T-S offers. If it is a reason of “no blogs do stories like that …. etc…”, then that is a lie. It is about “WHO” runs certain blogs AND HOW they want to “scheme their position” politically while not kicking their “media friends” to the curb. Of course, Singleton don’t live around these parts; thereby kicking his tush is unrealistic; yet, his newspaper wipes don’t need to be purchased either! – HOJ

  4. Henchman of What ???????

    Agreed, singleton is a Douchbag but HOJ is a goofball ,

  5. No Robbypick, the community loses when there isn’t enough reporters to report what is going on around them.

  6. Of course the blogs link to the TS stories. And The Journal. And The Arcata Eye. And The McKinleyville Press. Even The Triplicate and Press Democrat, and beyond.

    And sometimes, the blogs provide info that become articles – and vice versa. Sometimes the blogs flesh out the stories that appear in the papers, and sometimes the papers debunk the blog fodder.

    Either way, the conversations are sparked, and furthered, Jeff.

    Despite the dearth of reporters at the TS – we have a pretty healthy news community, with the combined effort of the community papers. We’re pretty lucky.

    I, for one, sympathize with the conditions at the TS and wish them well. And, I’d like to see it freed from its corporate master. But where would funding come from? And could the community support it and the other papers? What would it take?

  7. Hey Rose,

    can’t disagree on the “spark for further conversations”. More poignantly, the scope of thought is centered around “WHY” the T-S is being allowed to solely cover the story; whereas, local blogs have already proven they are more than capable to do the stories better. Personally, it appears as if “closed-door arrangements” were made so that certain blogs cover certain things so as to allow the T-S room to breathe. A case in point is that darned Lost Coast Outpost radio ad/commercial that makes it sound like that blog is the go-to source for news, but it ain’t. It has its niche, but nothing as dramatic as the radio ad/commercial implies, at least at this time. Then, of course Rose, you should know as a blog moderator/owner/entrepenuer ………….a healthy news community is limited to those allowed to participate since not everyone agrees on facts and opinions and ideals and ethics and on and on and on. Personally too, the corporate matter of the T-S dissings is no worse than when locals diss each other; in some instances, it is worse with locals given the subject matter. – HOJ

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