W.S. Di Piero 6:30 a.m., Sept. 17
Billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife Not Interested in Buying U-T
Richard Mellon Scaife, the Pittsburgh billionaire who owns newspapers and is a major donor to conservative causes, is not interested in buying the Union-Tribune, I have learned from a source close to him. The rumor that Scaife was interested has been making the rounds. In the last Forbes 400, Scaife was listed as America's 380th richest person with wealth of $1.3 billion. He owns the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which is very close in circulation to the main newspaper in that declining city, the Post-Gazette. Scaife also owns shoppers in towns surrounding Pittsburgh. He is reported to be losing money on the Pittsburgh paper, which originally started in nearby Greensburg. He moved it into Pittsburgh in the early 1990s when a strike crippled the Post-Gazette. Scaife owned the Sacramento Union after Copley Press sold it in the 1970s, but eventually let it go. He is a staunch Republican who gave money to those who were digging up dirt on Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Still, his paper backed Hillary for the Democratic nomination. He is a heavy giver to conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and Hoover Institution. He has a home in Pebble Beach, and is aware of the Copley situation, but says he does not want to increase his newspaper ownership.