Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz is buying the San Francisco Examiner from the Fang family. Qwest founder Anschutz, 64, said to pay $20 million for Fang's San Francisco independent newspaper, a large printing plant and the popular Bay to Breakers footrace each year. Mr. Anschutz amassed fortunes in oil, real estate, railroads and telecommunications in Colorado and sports teams and movie theaters across the nation, with a net worth of $4.9 billion in 2003, according to Forbes.com.
The Fang family acquired the Examiner and a $66 million subsidy from the Hearst Corp. in 2000, The family had turmoil in recent years. In 2001, matriarch Florence Fang fired her son Ted, who had been editor and publisher of the paper. Last year another son, Douglas Fang, who had served as chief operating officer, died of stomach cancer at age 38.
The Examiner has a circulation of over 75,000. The combined circulation of the Examiner, independent and the seven small community papers that are part of the deal is about 430,000. The paper will remain a free daily. The money-making part of the deal is the printing plant on Evans Avenue. The 40,000-square-foot plant has color presses and mailing and sorting rooms and can print 400,000 newspapers a day. The Fangs will keep ownership of AsianWeek magazine and Chinese TV Guide as well as the 60,000-square-foot Warfield Building at 988 Market St. where the Examiner has its office.
Bob Starzel, 63, a longtime Anschutz lieutenant, will be chairman of the newspapers. Examiner Managing Editor James Pimentel will remain the paper's top editor. Florence Fang will take the title of publisher emeritus, and her third son, James Fang, will be an unpaid consultant.. (Source: Paul Ellas, AP writer, SFGate.com, Feb. 20, 2004)