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Report: UT-San Diego Buys NC Times

UT-San Diego has purchased the North County Times and Daily Californian newspapers, the San Diego Business Journal is reporting. But John Lynch, CEO and president of UT-San Diego, told KPBS News that the sale has not been completed.

The Business Journal report says UT owner Douglas F. Manchester bought the profitable North County times for between $8 million and $10 million, or about five times cash flow.

The sale comes less than a year after Manchester acquired the Union-Tribune and renamed it U-T San Diego, and just months after Manchester lost out in the bidding for the Orange County Register, the Journal reported. The story also notes that UT-San Diego CEO Lynch said nothing has been signed yet.

The Journal further reported that: "The North County Times has been part of the newspaper group Lee Enterprises, and it has an average daily circulation of 74,848, according to the ABC North County Audit for the six months ending March 31. That circulation includes a significant number of subscribers to its Daily Californian edition in southwest Riverside County.

"The North County Times first published Dec. 3, 1995, after the merger of two longtime rival newspapers, the North County Blade-Citizen of Oceanside and the Escondido-based Times Advocate. The Times Advocate’s roots extend to 1886; those for the Blade reach back to 1892. On Jan. 1, 1997, The Californian in Temecula became an edition of the North County Times."

It is expected, the Journal further reports, that Manchester will continue to publish the North County Times as a separate publication.

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Avatar for user 'SDListener99'

SDListener99 | September 10, 2012 at 12:14 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

After subscribing to the UT for 25 years we cancelled a month ago. The editorial about the "5 Worst Presidents" pushed us over the edge. I'm glad this news is out now as I am looking for a new paper to subscribe to and was considering the NC Times. Looks like I will need to get the LA paper or just get an on-line subscription to another out-of-town paper. The UT's current policies are just inflaming what is already a huge problem in the US.

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | September 10, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

My experience echoes that of SDListener. After more than two decades of susbcribing to the U-T I, too, had had enough. The paper has become mean and uncivil in its editorials; obviously not reporting Mr Manchester's questionable actions; in short, his mouthpiece. I now subscribe to the LA Times (an unexpected benefit is that I pay about half what I did for home delivery of the U-T). The difference in attitudes of the two papers, politics aside, is striking, the LAT being civil. If I didn't have a lifelong habit of reading a newspaper with breakfast I'd not get a print newspaper at all. The Washington Post and NY Times send me more online news and opinions every day than I can read in a day--free.

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Avatar for user 'jskdn'

jskdn | September 10, 2012 at 7:07 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Is the editorial control to remain independent?

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Avatar for user 'bradleyfikes'

bradleyfikes | September 10, 2012 at 11:14 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

We at the NCT still don't know if there's going to be a sale, so questions of editorial control are premature. Here's my story on the putative sale:

Note that the SDBJ story originally said a press conference on the sale would be held tomorrow, Tuesday. That statement was deleted without comment from an updated SDBJ story -- and Lynch told me that such a press conference would not be held Tuesday. While the story may still turn out to be true, SDBJ is going out on a limb by running a story based on anonymous sourcing.

Rob Davis at VOSD has posted a very perceptive story on the subject:



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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | September 11, 2012 at 8:52 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

The UT San Diego has long been a right-leaning newspaper and I never subscribed to it.

However, pre-takeover from Manchester I did read it online daily. They did an OK job of reporting on certain issues despite a staunch Republican management/editorial board.

But after Manchester purchased the UT and began blatantly using it to push his development and political agenda on the front page no less, I boycotted visiting the UT's online site and have never looked back.

San Diego is going in one direction, and the UT is going in another.

The jaundiced journalism is an embarrassment to our community and is not to be trusted.

In fact, I will stop reading KPBS articles that use the UT as a source. I realize it's our "newspaper of record" in San Diego, but it's fiercely biased and any reputable media outlet, including KPBS, is better off remaining independent from Manchester's Murdoch-esque empire.

It's quite a shame that another newspaper has fallen to Manchester's assault on San Diego's journalism.

After the mayorla election, we will have one of two scenarios:

(1) If Filner wins (which I think is likely at this point): We will see a constant struggle between city hall and the local media. Manchester will do all he can with his purchased papers to smear Filner constantly. It will be like if Fox 'News" were the only media outlet that exists and Obama is President. We will see a perpetual struggle between city government and the mainstream (i.e. Manchester run) media. Manchester will also prop-up Carl DeMaio as the "voice of opposition" giving him ample opportunity through Manchester's yellow journalism to have a say on everything even if he loses.

(2) If Carl DeMaio wins: This would be the scariest scenario. We would see the local mainstream media (i.e. Manchester owned) in bed with the city. They would be lock-step. Anything DeMaio has on his agenda will be promoted in Manchester's media and voices of opposition will be all but drowned-out. Manchester himself will have a tentacle in city hall as well. His endorsements don't come for free, a Mayor DeMaio would simply be a puppet and Old Man Manchester would be pulling the strings.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | September 11, 2012 at 10:14 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Hey Duck just yesterday the website had a little dirt on CDM (but comments have been removed) so I don't believe all their reporters necesarily share the political opinion of the editorial staff.

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Avatar for user 'gnach'

gnach | September 11, 2012 at 12:28 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Like Len and SDListener99 we, too, have dropped the "Onion" after 30 years. Yes, it was the over the top anti-Obama smear that was what pushed us but the quality and quantity of the news has become pathetic. So now I read the LA paper for news and listen to KPBS.

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Avatar for user 'batmick'

batmick | September 11, 2012 at 12:50 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

We too will cancel our UT subscription as soon as we find an alternative.

If delivery times of the LA Times can compete we'll be going that route like others above.

No more money for the SoCal Prawda of Mr. Manchester from us.

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Avatar for user 'Willard'

Willard | September 11, 2012 at 5:28 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Journalist David Carr wrote a great article on the U-T
Newspaper as Business Pulpit
There is a growing worry that the falling value and failing business models of many American newspapers could lead to a situation where moneyed interests buy papers and use them to prosecute a political and commercial agenda.
That future appears to have arrived in San Diego, where The U-T San Diego, the daily newspaper bought by the local developer and hotelier Douglas F. Manchester, often seems like a brochure for his various interests.

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | September 12, 2012 at 1:26 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

@Batmick. My home delivery and my daughter's of the LA Times arrives the same time the U-T used to, well before 6 AM. Also, the LAT had, and may still have, a special home delivery price of $1.90 a week for a period of time, but you must ask for it.

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