(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.)
In the late 1970s, Times-Mirror-Newsday began to accelerate its mass media buying drive. Between 1977 and 1979, Times-Mirror-Newsday spent $500 million to acquire more media properties.
In the early 1990s, California’s Times-Mirror-Newsday attempted to cement mass media power by controlling all of the following mass media institutions:
The Los Angeles Times newspaper
Times-Mirror-Newsday/New York Newsday newspaper
The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Evening Sun newspapers
The Hartford Courant newspaper
The Greenwich Times newspaper
The Stamford Advocate newspaper
Rhode Island Cable Television
Chillecotte Cablevision Inc.
The Los Angeles Times Syndicate
Popular Science magazine
Field & Stream magazine
Military Forum magazine
Times-Mirror-Newsday also controlled Times-Mirror Land and Timber Company (which owns 272,000 acres of timberland) in the early 1990s, to reduce the business costs for obtaining the paper required by the conglomerate for its many newspapers.
Asked by Downtown in early 1991 whether the ownership by Times-Mirror of so many media properties tended to prevent a diversity of views from being published, then-New York Newsday Managing Editor Toedtman answered: “The Times-Mirror properties that I know of do not stifle diverse views.”
Besides Rockefeller & Company Director Clayton Frye Jr., Chandis Securities Director Otis Chandler and Bruce Chandler, the board of directors of Times-Mirror-Newsday also included the following U.S. Establishment figures in the late 1980s and early 1990s:
1. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Director Robert Erburu. Erburu was chairman of the Times-Mirror-Newsday board in the early 1990s, as well as a director of the company’s Tejon Ranch and the Times-Mirror Foundation.
2. Parsons Corporation Director F. Daniel Frost. Frost also directed Tejon Ranch and Avery International. The Parsons Corporation had special business interests in Saudi Arabia in the early 1990s.
3. Southern California Edison/Carter Hawley Hale Stores/Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Director Walter Gerken. Gerken also was a director of the California Economic Development Organization in the early 1990s.
4. J. Paul Getty Trust President Harold Williams. Williams also was a Pan American Airways director and a regent of the University of California in the early 1990s.
The president of Times-Mirror-Newsday in the early 1990s, David Levanthol, was an editor of Yale University’s student newspaper, the Yale Daily News, in the “silent 1950s.”
From its mass media monopolization activity, the California-based Times-Mirror-Newsday corporate board—on behalf of the Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Chandler families and other U.S. Establishment families—was able to specially influence political life in New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Texas, Missouri, Alabama, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. as well as in California in the early 1990s. At the same time, it earned a gross income of $3.5 billion each year and a net income annually of $300 million.
Next: Discrimination At Times-Mirror-Newsday Historically