The Baltimore Sun new co-owner says paper will cease political endorsements

One of the new co-owners of The Baltimore Sun said the paper will cease endorsing political candidates on its editorial page, joining a slew of other publications in ending the age-old practice.

Armstrong Williams, a conservative columnist and entrepreneur who purchased the paper with Sinclair Broadcasting owner David D. Smith, in an interview published online Saturday in The Sun called endorsements unnecessary.

Williams said readers can expect “a more balanced editorial page, not by removing, but by adding … You must have competing voices.”

The Sun’s decision to end endorsements brings the paper in line with others owned by the publication’s previous owners, Alden Global Capital. Papers owned by the investment firm, including the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Boston Herald, Orlando Sentinel and San Jose Mercury News, stopped making political endorsements in recent years.

Of the country’s 100 biggest newspapers by circulation, 92 endorsed a presidential candidate in 2008. By 2020, only 54 endorsed a candidate, according to a study by the University of California Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project.

Smith and Williams purchased The Sun and other, smaller publications in the communities surrounding Baltimore for an undisclosed amount. At a meeting with staff this past week, Smith said he spent “nine figures” last week to buy the papers from Alden. That would mean he spent more than $100 million.