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The Singleton Family and Rich Scudder bought the Fairbanks News Miner from CW Snedden in 1992. Singleton has been retired since 2013 and his partner, Scudder passed away in 2012.
In their heyday, through the media group, MediaNews, Singleton and Scudder, owned 54 daily newspapers in 12 states, as well as over 100 non-daily newspapers, KTVA in Anchorage as well as a number of radio stations in Texas.
In a letter to News Miner and Daily Mirror employees, Singleton stated that the families “decided to seek new,more involved owners” for the two newspapers. He also told employees that they decided to let them know first, but that the whole process will take several months. Although the newspapers are up for sale, Singleton stated that if they couldn’t “find the right buyer,” that they would continue to own the papers.
In 2010, as the economic recession took hold, and advertising dollars dried up, the holding corporation for MediaNews, Affiliated Media, Inc, filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 to rid themselves of a majority of their company debt. Senior lenders swapped debt for stock in the corporation and the company’s debt dropped from $930 million to approximately $165 million.
Singleton was a pioneer in “clustering,” or centralizing business,advertising, and editorial operations, and this method greatly reduced staff in many of the corporation’s newsrooms.