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March 25, 2009

Newspaper Bailout Proposed

Maryland Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin is proposing a law which would allow newspapers to restructure as nonprofits, so as to take advantage of more lenient tax requirements.

"This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat," said Senator Benjamin Cardin.

A Cardin spokesman said the bill had yet to attract any co-sponsors, but had sparked plenty of interest within the media, which has seen plunging revenues and many journalist layoffs.

[...]

Cardin's office said his bill was aimed at preserving local and community newspapers, not conglomerates which may also own radio and TV stations. His bill would also let a non-profit buy newspapers owned by a conglomerate.

"We are losing our newspaper industry," Cardin said. "The economy has caused an immediate problem, but the business model for newspapers, based on circulation and advertising revenue, is broken, and that is a real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy."

Here's the kicker: contributions to reorganized, nonprofit newspapers could be tax-deductible. So is it a contribution when I buy their newspaper or when George Soros buys their newspaper?


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 08:17 AM

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