Saturday, March 1, 2008

`Times-Mirror-Newsday' Chandler Dynasty's Hidden History--Part 1

(The following article about Times-Mirror-Newsday’s hidden history was written before the 2000 merger between the Tribune Company and Times-Mirror-Newsday. It first appeared in the March 6, 1991 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly Downtown.)

Twenty-two percent of the Times-Mirror-Newsday media conglomerate was still owned by the family of then-Times-Mirror-Newsday directors Otis Chandler and Bruce Chandler in the early 1990s. The various Chandlers had inherited the Chandis Securities stock and Chandis Securities, in turn, then owned the Chandler family stock of Times-Mirror-Newsday in the early 1990s.

Like the families of the other dynasties connected to Times-Mirror-Newsday in the early 1990s either as stockholders or through a corporate directorship—the Guggenheims and the Rockefellers—the Chandler family helped build up its media and real estate empire by being ruthless in relation to U.S. labor and competing businesses and by always seeking to maximize profits by means of monopolization techniques.

In 1886, Harrison Gray Otis purchased 100 percent of the Los Angeles Times newspaper. By running the profit-making Los Angeles Times as a nonunion newspaper long after most other U.S. newspapers employed higher-wage union labor, Harrison Gray Otis was able to turn the Los Angeles Times into a profitable enterprise as his Los Angeles readership and advertising market expanded in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. According to the book Thinking Big by Robert Gottlieb and Irene Wolt, “Harrison Gray Otis and the Los Angeles Times would earn the reputation as the most powerful and persistent enemy of organized labor in America, a role of which Otis was intensely proud.”

In the 1890s, Los Angeles Times publisher Otis was also a staunch supporter of U.S. imperialism in the Philippines. In 1898, he even served as a volunteer U.S. General in the Philippines following the Spanish-American War, in order to help the U.S. military machine turn the Philippines into a new U.S. colony by means of military violence that produced extensive “collateral damage” to many Filipino civilians.

(Downtown 3/6/91)

Next: Times-Mirror-Newsday Chandler Dynasty’s Hidden History—Part 2

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