If the Tribune Co. follows its sale of Newsday by getting rid of the Chicago Cubs, the newsroom of the Chicago Tribune will be a happy place, says the newspaper’s public editor, Timothy J. McNulty.
Ownership of the Cubs is a bane to the sports department, which can’t seem to prove its impartiality to readers, as well as to the business desk and editorial board, both of which are forced to walk a fine line with coverage and commentary, he says.
Ironically, Newsday’s editorial staff will soon be faced with the same dilemma when it covers the Cablevision-owned New York Knicks or Rangers, or reports on the company’s influence over planned renovations to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.
Of course, newspaper readers are always skeptical of corporate ownership. Yet reports of Cablevision’s heavy handed PR strategy with both sports and business coverage won’t help the company’s case.