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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.