In 2009, the Baltimore Sun appeared to be on the brink of collapse. To brainstorm what might happen in that situation, I convened a series of meetings that brought together people from The Sun, entrepreneurs, and local media figures like Marc Steiner. We had a working group of about 12–15 people.
Over the course of a few meetings that year, and with subsequent discussions with people from the Abell Foundation and with people like Ted Venetoulis, I developed a sense of what might be required to create a sustainable and equitable media property in Baltimore.
Yesterday, the Baltimore Sun announced that it plans to shutter the Baltimore City Paper after 40 years of publication. Baltimore Sun Media Group acquired the City Paper in 2014, and over the last three years it has been resurgent, producing excellent reporting and delivering a distinct and much-needed local voice.
While it’s sad that City Paper will most likely cease to exist this year, this outcome was somewhat predictable. BSMG acquired multiple properties in 2014, including the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, and the Carroll County Times. The intention here would have had to have been to consolidate, and yes, monopolize the local print media landscape.
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