Ian Pike 10 a.m., Sept. 14
Platinum Has No Dreams of Editorial Expansion for U-T, Says Black
In an interview today (July 27) in the Globe and Mail, the national Canadian paper, David Black, investor and adviser in Platinum Equity's purchase of the Union-Tribune, looks to a no-frills editorial future for the U-T. "Mr. Black and Platinum don't have dreams of editorial expansion [for the U-T]," says the paper. "Mr. Black's papers are mostly of the decidedly no-frill variety, and, in one example, there are no plans to resurrect the Union-Tribune's Washington bureau, which was shuttered last year," says the Globe and Mail. "In a perfect world, you have bureaus in several places, but that perfect world isn't going to happen, I don't believe, where you have money to burn in editorial," the Globe and Mail quotes Black saying. He said that he sees a future for advertising by furniture stores and auto dealerships when the economy comes back.
Black is in the U-T deal as a private investor. His company, Black Press, has made several acquisitions, including the Akron Beacon-Journal. The company bought the paper in 2006 for $165 million and slashed the editorial staff by 25 percent. Black says it is making money, but he had to take a $100 million writedown on the investment. At the time, Torstar, parent of the Toronto Star, had a 19.4% stake in Black Press. After the writedown, Torstar reduced the value of that stake to zero.