BY FREDA MIKLIN
William Dean Singleton, or Dean Singleton, as he was long been known, began his career in the newspaper business as a part-time reporter when he was 15 years old. He bought his first newspaper in 1972, when he was 21. In 1983, he and Richard Scudder teamed up to create MediaNews Group, Inc. “to purchase and manage newspaper companies throughout the United States.”
MediaNews kept acquiring newspapers and eventually grew to 142 separate publications, 48 daily newspapers and 94 non-dailies in 13 different states. The company was based in Denver and Singleton was chairman of the board of the Denver Post, Media News Group’s “flagship and largest newspaper,” which he owned from 1987 to 2013. Singleton served on the board of the Newspaper Association of North America from 1993 to 2004, including a stint as its chair.
In 2010, Alden Global Capital, a large hedge fund, acquired a significant interest in the company. Singleton was allowed to stay on but in a less powerful role. That ended in 2018 when he, two other senior editors, and the editorial page editor of The Denver Post all resigned over the influence they saw that Alden Global Capital had over The Post’s editorial policies.
Singleton has remained active in Denver and Colorado charities, including the Helen G. Bonfils Foundation, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Winter Park Recreational Association Board, the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center, and the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
He is a former member of the board of trustees for University of Denver and was named to the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 2001. Just last year, DU honored Singleton with the 2021 Journalism in the Public Interest Award for, “his extensive contributions to journalism and public life, along with his dedication to the industry from a young age.”