Friday, April 19, 2013

Darius Anderson: Newspaper Owner and Subject of News. Again.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 11:17 AM

click to enlarge sonoma.jpg

Adding to an increasingly long list of stories in the Press Democrat about the new owners of the paper, a story by Derek Moore today looks into the "controversy in Sonoma" about the revised building plans for Chateau Sonoma Hotel and Spa.

Darius Anderson, founder and CEO of Kenwood Investments, backing the project, is also, as many know, one of the principals of Sonoma Media Investments, owner of the Press Democrat.

Of course Anderson and his partner Doug Bosco, another principal at Sonoma Media Investments, have been in the news regularly lately—story about lobbying, story about Jared Huffman, story about Gov. Brown. The two are newsmakers in this area, but the recent influx of stories "above the fold" about their dealings is a little hard to stomach.

Take the very well-written story by Kevin McCallum about the Sacramento Kings which graced the front page of the Press Democrat late last month. Fine, Anderson is a big wheeler-and-dealer in this situation, which is justifiable sports news . . . in Sacramento. This seemed like a story for the Sacramento Bee, or something the PD could have pulled from the Associated Press—not one to have a stellar reporter like McCallum spend valuable time covering when he could have been writing about more relevant things to our community.

As for the Anderson's hotel, I'm not suggesting the residents of Sonoma don't find this issue important. It is. In the story, Moore writes: "The Index-Tribune building, an adjacent warehouse and an antique store, all owned by Anderson, will be razed to make way for the hotel complex."

This is news, and I am glad it is being covered. The voices against the development were heard, and reported on in the Press Democrat, and that is important. But the more stories about the new owners that aren't relevant to the local community, the less inclined readers will be to take seriously the ones that are.

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