Many of us complain we are "owned" by banks. When we pay on a mortgage, a car loan or a credit-card bill, those debts are a fair representation of how much the bank owns us. --- People say it. But banks can't literally own human beings.
The Salt Lake Tribune, on the other hand, really is owned by banks. In 2010, its parent company, MediaNews, came out of bankruptcy with a reorganization plan giving ownership to dozens of lenders led by Bank of America Corp.
According to a January 2011 AP story, after the plan was approved, Dean Singleton, MediaNews' co-founder and CEO, held an 11 percent stake in the company. Singleton stepped aside recently as CEO to become chairman of the board. John Paton, a newspaper guy eager to see papers in the chain make the leap to a digital news universe, was hired in September as MediaNews' new CEO.
Paton's bosses really are banks and hedge funds, whom we can only imagine are eager for profit.
For those curious how MediaNews will pull a digital rabbit out its newsprint hat, The New York Times media critic, David Carr, wrote a profile on John Paton here.