Knight Foundation: Heal Thyself!

Grant Miller

So here we are in 2020 on the verge of losing our great independent, American newspaper, The Miami Herald.

The Herald and its parent company, McClatchy Co., are on the block. The 163-year-old company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. McClatchy’s crunch includes $530 million in unfunded pension liabilities to thousands of retirees and some current employees.

For now, it looks like hedge Fund, Chatham Asset Management, owner of the National Enquirer’s media company, could take the McClatchy and The Herald over to the private side. McClatchy owns more than 25 daily papers in 14 states.

The Herald’s Guild of Writers is opposing the move, asking the Bankruptcy Judge to find another buyer, fearing that Chatham will chop it up like a Pollo Tropical tropichop. (That reminds me – I haven’t eaten lunch!)

But to paraphrase the 1960s animation, Underdog, “There is no need to fear, Knight Ridder is here.” At least you might think a foundation named after the founders of the newspapers chain, whose mission is to “invest in journalism” would be gearing up to save the day. But so far, all we have heard is crickets.

Knight Foundation has an endowment of more than $2.4 billion. Like Jesus said in Luke 4:23, “Physician, heal thyself.”

The Knight Foundation should step up and invest in the chain that made it one of the wealthiest foundations in the country. If the Herald and other papers in the chain go down, then the Knight Foundation has failed in its mission.

“We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy,” according to the Knight Foundation website.

Physician – heal thyself before you wreck yourself.

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  1. Foundations can’t own business enterprises, for good reason.

    Why would a not for profit be an appropriate owner for mcclatchy? What does the foundation know about running, let alone fixing, a newspaper business?

    Is Grant suggesting raiding the foundation’s assets to pay the pensions? The good works the foundation does for the community counts for nothing?

    A more constructive comment would be on how the great newspapers came to this sad state of affairs, and ideas for fixing it. Throwing stones at a vestige of the owners wealth at the peak of its business serves no purpose. Cheers

  2. Maybe if The Miami Herald started giving the news instead of their biased beliefs, it would be successful. I’ve been a subscriber for over 40 years. I will not be reviewing my subscription. Their biased reporting during this pandemic is the last straw for me. They have done nothing but attack the President and the Governor. They could also fire Fabiola Santiago and hire someone less biased.

  3. The foundation can provide the funding to ensure that the Herald is saved, however like many readers, they need to provide the news and not bias commentary. Investigative reporting, in-depth research into issues affecting the community. However they have taken a bias view and only provide comments and or criticizing what they don’t like or believe in.
    If the paper didn’t see this coming they should not be in the business. Subscriptions have been going down and they have not tried to bring in true reporters who call it like it is…so sad!
    Kudos to Mr. Miller in bringing this to light!

  4. The Miami Herald deserves to fail, because of their disgusting ultra liberal editorial board. I can’t wait to see the complete closure of the Miami Herald. Good riddance. Nothing but a rag piece of crap publication. The complete failure of the McClatchy organization is way overdue. Good riddance.


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