Web Exclusives: Alumni Spotlight

January 24, 2007:

PROFILE: Richard Scudder ’35
Still at the helm

Richard Scudder ’35

Richard Scudder ’35 co-founded MediaNews Group when he was 70, well past the age when many people retire. (Courtesy the Denver Post)

Richard Scudder ’35 was born into the Fourth Estate, grandson of the founder of New Jersey’s Newark Evening News. Now, at age 93, he is still an energetic media man and an active partner in MediaNews Group, the company he co-founded when he was 70 years old and has helped make one of the largest media conglomerates in the United States.

Boasting 54 dailies in 12 states, including The Denver Post and Los Angeles’ Daily News, a CBS television affiliate, and radio stations, MediaNews continues to expand. While MediaNews is based in Denver, Scudder works remotely from his home in New Jersey part time, maintaining close contact with his partner Dean Singleton, and advising on the acquisition and recasting of newly acquired papers. Once MediaNews takes over a paper, Scudder and Singleton push the editors to focus on accurate, local reporting.

While some see the news business as an industry in crisis, Scudder does not. “We see it as a huge opportunity,” says Scudder, a congenial man with a boyish grin.

An economics major at Princeton, Scudder began his long career in journalism as a reporter for the Boston Herald. After serving in World War II, Scudder worked for the Newark Evening News, eventually becoming publisher. He also helped invent the first newsprint de-inking process, in which ink is removed from the newspaper, leaving the paper intact for reuse. He opened the first newsprint recycling plants in the world, which led to his induction into the Paper Industry Hall of Fame.

Scudder still lives in the house he built on the New Jersey shore when he returned from the war in 1947. He is surrounded by the trees he planted and the birds he loves. When not weighing in on the goings-on of his company, he paints and reads.

Why does he continue to work? “It’s fun!” Scudder says. “I’m having a wonderful time.”P

By Kerry Lynn Saretsky ’05

Kerry Lynn Saretsky ’05 is a freelance writer in New York City.