Denver Post, other MediaNews Group papers likely to endorse Obama

Denver Post owner William Dean Singleton said Monday he wants to hear the debates before he decides who gets his vote, but the editors in his newspaper empire are “leaning” toward a Barack Obama endorsement.

“I am hearing that the economy and health care are the big issues,” Singleton told Editor and Publisher on a phone call from his Granby ranch.

Singleton, a longtime supporter of the Bush family, says he remains personally undecided, a first for him. “I don’t ever remember being undecided before. I have always leaned toward one of them early on,” he says. “I am having trouble with this one.” He favored Hillary Clinton over Obama during the Democratic primaries.

The media mogul is chairman of the Associated Press and owns 54 daily newspapers across the country, including the Denver Post, the San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, The Detroit News, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Los Angeles Daily News and Salt Lake Tribune.

Singleton sits on the editorial board of his Denver and Salt Lake properties, but said his preference doesn’t always influence their endorsements, pointing to a 2000 Al Gore nod from the Denver Post. Both newspapers endorsed George Bush in 2004, “with reservations, particularly on the war,” Singleton said.

“I have not been to an editorial meeting where they have discussed it,” he said of both papers. “I don’t have strong feelings [about either candidate] this year. I would really like to see a debate first. There are a lot of people who don’t believe either candidate is the preferred candidate.”

He told E&P the Post plans to unveil its endorsement Oct. 19.

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Ernest Luning

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