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Tribune Publishing To Buy U-T San Diego For $85M

The U-T San Diego announced Thursday that it will be sold to Tribune Publishing, parent company of the Los Angeles Times, for $85 million.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Hotelier and U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester is pictured at The Grand Del Mar, Oct. 15, 2012.

Tribune Publishing will consider changing the newspaper's name back to the traditional San Diego Union-Tribune, according to the report. The deal is expected to be closed by June 30.

Austin Beutner, the Times publisher and CEO, told U-T San Diego that a regional operating organization, the California News Group, would run both newspapers as separate brands with different newsrooms.

"For San Diego and for all of California this is an important day, a recommitment to the values of independent journalism," Beutner wrote in a letter to readers. "The Union-Tribune, which traces its history back 146 years, will continue its role in the San Diego community, reaching an audience of more than a million readers every week."

Beutner went on to write, "we are mindful of its role in the community, and we will preserve the independence of the Union-Tribune’s newsroom and its award-winning writers, photographers and editors."

It's been reported for about a year that U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester has been looking to sell San Diego's major daily newspaper, and Tribune had emerged recently as the most likely buyer.

Manchester purchased the newspaper for $110 million in 2011 from Platinum Equity, which purchased it from the Copley family for $35 million in 2009. He also purchased the North County Times and a group of community newspapers in San Diego County — all of which he folded into the U-T.

The deal doesn't include the Mission Valley property where the newspaper is headquartered. Manchester, a real estate developer, is seeking permission to build 200 luxury apartments in the space.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Associated Press

This file photo from Sept. 23, 2014, shows the Mission Valley building that houses The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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