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$85M Sale Of U-T San Diego to LA Times Owner Completed

Photo credit: Associated Press

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

The $85 million sale of the U-T San Diego newspaper to Tribune Publishing was completed Thursday, the companies announced.

Tribune will assume the San Diego daily's pension debt and also takes over nine community publications as part of the transaction. The company said it will restore the 146-year-old paper's former name — The San Diego Union-Tribune.

A regional operating organization called the California News Group will oversee the San Diego newspaper and the Los Angeles Times, Tribune's other major holding in Southern California.

Austin Beutner, the Times' publisher and CEO, said both newspapers would be run as separate brands with different newsrooms. He'll serve as publisher and chief executive for both papers, as well as the California News Group.

Tribune purchased the newspaper from developer Doug Manchester. Manchester later purchased the North County Times and the community weeklies. Manchester and Tribune announced the planned sale earlier this month.

Beutner announced the sale in an online post to readers. In it, he said that Russ Newton, a senior vice president for operation at The Times, will become the president and chief operating officer of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

From the current Union-Tribune news staff, he will be working with Editor Jeff Light, Managing Editor Lora Cicalo and Editorial and Opinion Director Bill Osborne.

This is the third time the Union-Tribune has changed hands since 2009. That year, Copley Press Inc. sold the newspaper to Platinum Equity in Beverly Hills. The Copley family had owned the newspaper since 1928. Manchester bought the newspaper from Platinum in 2011.


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