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Frank Blethen
Seattle Times Co. / Frank Blethen
Seattle, WA


Seattle, WA

"We don't talk about ownership, we talk about stewardship. We talk about journalistic values, community service values, and expectations and make sure they understood the trust-like nature of the Blethen corporation, and that any financial expectations they might have for being a shareholder in Blethen were going to be pretty minimal . . . the family and the succeeding generation of family, it really is something in this day and age to go onto something which really is values based and really makes a difference in the community and does something special like journalism. It is very powerful."
Frank Blethen, in an August, 2006 MGP interview (see below)

premier advocate of family ownership

Download/play MP3 audio

SEATTLE, Wash., Aug. 10, 2006 -- On a day marking 110 years of family ownership with an employee picnic, Seattle Times owner-publisher Frank Blethen and longtime editor Michael Fancher recall a dark time when the family might have had to sell out, a corporate commitment to diversity and their concerns about news councils.

Listen to an audio excerpt of a 70-minute interview with the Media Giraffe Project's Bill Densmore, conducted Aug. 10, 2006, in the Times' boardroom.

Because of his outspoken support of FCC media ownership caps, Blethen sees himself as somewhat of an outcast among major U.S. daily publishers when he attends news industry functions. "The thing that's loney though, that piece isn't really lonely," he addes in the 36-minute audio excerpt. "The lonely piece is what happens in your own community when you truly practice independent journalism . . . [over the 20 years] Mike and I have been editor and publisher of this newspaper we've probably offended just about all the major business and labor, and not all the not profits, but [all the] government entities . . . my family has gotta go out in this community everyday and face people that the newspaper has ticked off." Listen to a 36-minute excert of the interview with Frank Blethen and Seattle Times Editor-and-Large Michael Fancher. http://newshare.typepad.com/mediagiraffe/files/blethen-fancher-seattle-08-10-2006.mp3 (36 mins., 17MB download)

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