Pat Robertson May Buy Paper

Friday, 11 Jan 2008 08:47 PM

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Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson is considering making an offer to buy The Virginian-Pilot, a newspaper he has sharply criticized in the past.

Landmark Communications Inc. announced last week that it was deciding whether to sell all of its assets, which include The Virginian-Pilot and The Weather Channel.

“Although the price for The Weather Channel is a little rich for my blood, I am considering a potential bid for the Pilot and have asked my attorney to look into it,” Robertson said in an e-mail sent to the paper.

“It would be particularly helpful to provide internships for Regent University journalism students.”

Robertson is president and founder of Regent University, a Christian school based in Virginia Beach, Va.

Purchasing the Norfolk area-based newspaper “makes sense in a lot of ways” for Robertson, Randall Balmer, a professor of U.S. religious history at Columbia University, told The Virginian-Pilot.

“It allows him to expand his journalism program at Regent University and to provide, in effect, guaranteed internships and a place of employment for his graduates.”

Robertson has criticized articles in the paper that he said unfairly characterized his pursuits, the Pilot noted.

An article in December said Regent’s counseling program has suffered from the departure of nearly half of its faculty members, and students have been chastised form voicing concerns.

Robertson wrote a letter to the paper saying the Pilot’s story “left out critical facts that were provided to the writer.”

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