In a tense, three-hour meeting with staff Tuesday afternoon, new Baltimore Sun owner David Smith told employees he has only read the paper four times in the past few months, insulted the quality of their journalism and encouraged them to emulate a TV station owned by his broadcasting company.

Smith, whose acquisition of the paper from the investment firm Alden Global Capital was announced publicly Monday evening, told staff he had not read newspapers for decades, according to several people who attended the meeting but were not authorized to speak publicly.

While the terms of The Sun sale are private, Smith told staff he paid “nine figures” — meaning at least $100 million — for the paper, along with several community publications, including the Capital Gazette in Annapolis. {read}