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Monday, November 14, 2005

Will Anschutz Buy Knight Ridder?

Described as "socially conservative Christian Republican"

The Denver Business Journal reports that billionaire Phil Anschutz, founder of QWEST Communications Company, may be in the running to buy the Knight Ridder newspaper chain in whole or in part. Anschutz got in the newspaper business by buying the San Francisco Examiner. He has since founded the free Washington Examiner and the Baltimore Examiner, also free. He is expected to launch other such free newspapers in other cities.

Knight Ridder is the parent company of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel and is the majority owner of Fort Wayne Newspapers (FWN). FWN is the joint operating agency for the News-Sentinel and the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.

Atlantic magazine referred to Mr. Anschutz as a "socially conservative Christian Republican" in its May 2005 issue.

Mr. Anschutz is also a producer of movies. Movies such as Ray, the biopic of the life of Ray Charles, which starred Jamie Foxx. Movies such as Around the World in 80 Days, Because of Winn Dixie and Holes. C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is to be released in December. He wants to underwrite movies that are suitable for families or which have an uplifting message.

Mr. Anschutz is originally from Russell, Kansas. The city is also the hometown of former Kansas Senator Bob Dole and Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter.

More: Anschutz is fond of tabloid-sized newspapers.
More: Fun stuff - when Indiana's Bren Simon and Phil Anschutz got zapped in the same western gossip column.
More: Anschutz Federal campaign contributions. Only Indiana contribution going back years was to Democrat Tim Roemer.
Photo from Horatio Alger Association

Anschutz bought the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, milked them for the real estate value and right-of-ways for Qwest, and cast off the rusted remainders. No doubt, he would do something along the same line with Knight-Ridder. I don't find him uplifting.
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