With the changing face of media, many moving away from printed news, another trend is making its way into the media stream, evidenced in philanthropist Malin Burnham’s plans to purchase and transform San Diego’s Union-Tribune making it “one of the nation’s largest nonprofit news organizations.”
According to the U-T, Burnham, also known as Mr. San Diego, “is part of a group of potential donors who have been studying a deal for five or six months. His idea, if approved by the Internal Revenue Service, is that a nonprofit would own the for-profit media company.”
Burham’s plans reportedly include taking profits from the media entity and using them to foster increased quality of life in the area through support of community projects. Which community projects would be undertaken, has yet to be defined.
In these early stages, current U-T San Diego owner and publisher “Papa” Doug Manchester has been careful to say that no deal with “Mr. San Diego” Burnham has been or is close to being made.
“Analysts compared the San Diego businessman to a new breed of owners at The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Star-Tribune of Minneapolis who act largely on a belief that newspapers perform a public service” according to an Associated Press article on the purchase plans.
An August 2013 U-T article on Mr. San Diego told of Burnham’s philanthropy and expression of honor in receiving the Midway American Patriot Award granted from the board of the USS Midway Museum. That was one of many awards Burnham has received for his philanthropic endeavors, particularly in the San Diego area.
According to LEAD San Diego, Burnham is currently Vice Chairman of international commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield and, “layed a leading role in bringing both the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the America’s Cup to San Diego. He is also a former partner/owner of the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Sockers.”
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