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The battle for Tribune: Inside the campaign to find new owners for a legendary group of newspapers

Last year, as a group of Baltimore Sun reporters embarked on a long-shot endeavor to find a new owner that could save their paper from a hedge-fund takeover, a former Maryland politician gave them a piece of advice. Treat this like a political campaign. The worried reporters would need to recruit community allies. Hire a public relations firm to sway public opinion. And most crucially: Figure out how to find rich people who might be persuaded to finance a rescue plan.

Newspaper union takes to the street as their rally to win local ownership of The Baltimore Sun hangs in the balance

A year into its rallying cry to save The Baltimore Sun from being sold to a hedge fund, the newspaper’s union took to the streets Saturday facing the same uncertainties as when the long-shot quest began, but with more reason for optimism. The Washington-Baltimore News Guild launched its lobbying efforts to return The Sun, the Capital Gazette and the Carroll County Times to local ownership last April, and emotions of the newspaper’s staff and supporters have been whipsawed by events ever since.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Rival Group Makes Fully Financed, Roughly $680 Million Bid for Tribune

A Maryland hotel magnate and a Swiss billionaire have made a bid for Tribune Publishing Co. that the newspaper chain is expected to favor over a takeover deal it already struck with hedge fund Alden Global Capital LLC. A special committee of Tribune’s board has determined that a roughly $680 million, $18.50-a-share bid submitted late last week by Choice Hotels International Inc. Chairman Stewart Bainum and Hansjörg Wyss is reasonably likely to lead to a proposal that is superior to Alden’s $635 million deal, people familiar with the matter said.

Bank of America heading east, opening up another hole in central business district

Bank of America has made its rumored move across Baltimore’s Inner Harbor official. The financial giant announced Tuesday it has signed a lease to occupy the 10th and 11th floors of the 24-story Legg Mason tower at 100 International Drive, joining the exodus of companies moving from Baltimore’s central business district. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America is the biggest bank in Greater Baltimore with $28.6 billion in local deposits as of June 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

‘Frustating’ Odenton station overhaul may finally be coming

The stars seem to finally be aligning for a long-desired and much-needed overhaul of the Odenton commuter station and surrounding area to move forward. For almost 50 years, residents of the area have waited to see Odenton Town Center realize its full potential as a transportation, retail and residential hub. Located near Fort Meade, one of Maryland’s biggest contributors of economic activity, the community should be blooming.

Diamond Comic Distributors loses second major client in a year

The Avengers won’t be assembling through Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. anymore. Marvel Comics announced Thursday it has entered into an exclusive, multi-year sales and distribution agreement with a division of New York-based Penguin Random House to deliver newly published and backlist comic books, trade collections and graphic novels to comic shops across the world. For Cockeysville-based Diamond, the deal marks the loss of a second major client in less than a year after more than two decades as the dominant distributor in the comic book industry. DC Comics ended a 25-year relationship with Diamond last year.

Record year for venture capital leaves Black founders behind

Last year was the strongest ever for Baltimore, for Maryland and for the nation in terms of venture capital performance. The number of dollars raised by growing companies across the country reached about $130 billion and funding to Maryland firms hit a record $1.159 billion, with companies in Baltimore taking about 26% of that. For Jeff Cherry, a Baltimore venture capitalist and startup accelerator founder, the record-setting raises of 2020 are encouraging. But as a Black investor who has long been vocal about the need for greater diversity among both the funders and the funded, he also saw some shortfalls and opportunities for greater progress.

Lockheed Martin, Omnispace explore space-based 5G global network

Omnispace LLC and Bethesda-based global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin Tuesday entered into a strategic interest agreement to explore jointly developing 5G capability from space. The proposed global 5G standards-based non-terrestrial network (NTN) would offer commercial, enterprise and government devices ubiquitous communications worldwide.

Read More: Daily Record
Howard County terminates ICE contract

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball Tuesday announced that the Howard County Department of Corrections gave notice March 19 of its intent to terminate the contract with the U.S. Immigration and  Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency, under which the Department housed detainees in ICE custody.

Read More: Daily Record
United Way of Central Maryland hopes to increase grants despite pandemic impact

During a time when many nonprofits across the U.S. are facing financial peril, the United Way of Central Maryland hopes to increase grant opportunities thanks to an influx of pandemic-driven donations and one large gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Challenges lie ahead for the nonprofit sector as a whole in the coming months and years. A recent study by the philanthropy research group Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy estimated more than one-third of U.S. nonprofits are in jeopardy of closing within two years in a worst-case scenario because of the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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