The Chandler Family
Net Worth: $2.1 billion
Source of Wealth: Publishing
As Times Mirror Co. goes, so goes the wealth of the 100-member-plus Chandler clan. And Times Mirror has been doing quite well lately.
Between them, the Chandlers, heirs of a clerk named Henry Chandler who married the daughter of Los Angeles Times owner Harrison Gray Otis in 1894, own about 28 percent of Times Mirror’s stock. And the value of that stock has more than tripled since early 1995, when Mark Willes was named chief executive of Times Mirror an appointment reportedly orchestrated by the more powerful members of the Chandler dynasty.
Although the Chandlers are united by a common trust fund, they aren’t exactly one big happy family. The major rift dates back to 1960, when according to the David Halberstam book “The Powers that Be” Dorothy (Buff) Chandler urged her husband Norman to install their son Otis as publisher of the Los Angeles Times instead of Norman’s younger brother Philip.
There has been bad blood between the heirs of Otis and the heirs of Philip ever since. Adding salt to the wounds is the fact that Otis Chandler’s middle-of-the-road politics, and the resulting “left-leaning” editorial stance of the Times under his watch, contrasted sharply with the conservative views of Philip’s side of the family.
Otis Chandler stepped down as publisher in 1986, and Times Mirror’s flagship newspaper has been published by non-family members ever since. These days, Otis Chandler is said to spend most of his time at his home in Oregon tinkering with his car collection.
Meanwhile, Philip’s children, Corinne Werdel and her brother Jeffrey Chandler, are said to be pressuring Willes to move the editorial stance of the Times further to the right.