If you’ve been wondering what erstwhile Las Vegas Review-Journal publisher Sherman Frederick has been doing with his spare time since his responsibilities at the paper and the company that own it were cut to the bone in November, here’s the answer: assembling his own media empire.
Frederick and partners Tim Dahlberg, a sports columnist with the Associated Press, and Tom Smith, a Phoenix accountant, formed Battle Born Media in March. Right now they’re shopping for newspapers to buy.
“The purpose is to create a media company specializing in acquiring and operating newspapers in smaller community markets,” Frederick wrote in an e-mail. “In particular, we’re looking for communities well-served by owners looking for a fair exit in this economy. We currently are looking at a handful of newspapers in the Mountain West. No acquisition is yet at a stage in which an announcement is appropriate.”
Dahlberg, who says he’ll keep his day job at the AP, believes the market for small papers is solid. “People claim the newspaper industry is dying. But it’s not dying in small communities.”
Battle Born hired Kirk Kern, the first editor of the View newspapers Frederick founded in the 1990s, as its chief operating officer.
Frederick left his job as the publisher of the R-J and CEO of its parent company, Stephens Media Group, in a shakeup that included moving editor Thomas Mitchell from the head of the newsroom to being in charge of the opinion page. Frederick was a columnist and blogger at the paper in the interim, and says he’ll continue in that capacity. Mitchell has since left the R-J.