Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

San Diego Union-Tribune's new owner

 November 9, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, November 9th.


President Biden’s approval rating is at a low point among voters statewide.

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Unofficial results show Democrat Monica Montgomery Steppe winning the District 4 county supervisor seat.

She currently leads Republican Amy Reichert, by over 17 thousand votes.

Montgomery Steppe will be the first Black woman to serve on the county Board of Supervisors.

“I'm really focused on making sure that I get grounded in the position and kind of know what to ask for, the right questions to ask, and how to be the most successful supervisor that I could possibly be.”

The seat on the board of supervisors became empty after Nathan Fletcher resigned in May.

The next release of unofficial results will be posted by 5 p-m today.

Results must be certified by December 7th.


The Board of Supervisors approved funding a study of the Vista Jail.

It will look at ways to improve jail operations, and recommend whether the jail should be renovated or newly constructed.

Sheriff’s officials say the goal is to help break the cycle of crime by offering better healthcare, substance use disorder recovery services and re-entry programs.


The city of San Diego set a new record of diverting 71-percent of its waste from landfills last year.

That’s progress toward its goal of adding zero waste to landfills by 20-40.

City officials say it means San Diegans are recycling more, and it helps address climate change.

But the city is still behind schedule.

Officials had aimed to reach 75-percent diversion by 20-20.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


President Joe Biden's approval rating among California voters just hit a low point.

But a new poll shows the Democrat would still easily beat former Republican president Donald Trump in a statewide matchup.

Cap-radio’s Nicole Nixon reports.

The UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll shows Biden’s approval in California is underwater for the first time in his presidency: 52 percent of registered voters disapprove of his performance, compared to 44 percent who do. The same poll shows Trump far and away the top presidential choice among California Republicans. He’s more than 45 percentage points ahead of the second choice, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Governor Gavin Newsom’s approval ratings also took a dive this week. For him and Biden, the drop-offs came from moderate and unaffiliated voters -- which pollsters say should be a warning sign ahead of next year’s election.

TAG: That was Cap-radio's Nicole Nixon.


Two cities in North County are teaming up in an effort to shelter homeless residents.

Reporter Jacob Aere says they just got state funding -- to operate the soon-to-be shelter in Vista.

An upcoming homeless shelter in Vista just received $5 million in state funds to cover operating costs for the next three years. It's a joint effort between Vista and Encinitas. The low-barrier, non-congregate center will be able to house up to 48 people at once…  says the city of Vista’s Jonathan Lung. “This is the first of its kind in that two cities are funding one program directly.” Lung says an operator for the center will be recommended to Vista city council on January 9. He expects residents will start moving into the new shelter in early spring of 2024. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


The San Diego Tourism Authority released new figures of visitor spending for the 20-23 fiscal year.

Reporter Melissa Mae has the details.

MM: The San Diego Tourism Authority estimates 30.5 million visitors made their way to San Diego during the 2023 fiscal year and generated 23.48 billion dollars in total economic impact! MM: Julie Coker is the president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority and says visitor spend is what tourists leave in their destination. In other words, all the money they spend here. She says the 2023 fiscal year exceeded the 2022 fiscal year by over 1 billion dollars! JC “We had record breaking visitor spend, $14.2 billion. We also had record breaking TOT collections, which is essentially hotel tax at $418 million in the county.” MM: One area the Tourism Authority says needs improvement is international visitors and they expect those numbers to recover by the end of 2024. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


Coming up.... We learn more about what the sale of the San Diego Union-Tribune means for the community. That and more, just after the break.


In their heyday, big newspaper owners were called barons, moguls and king-makers.

But investigative reporter Amita Sharma says far less regal names are used to describe the new owner of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

She’s here with me now to explain why.

Welcome Amita.

Amita, you write that the UT’s new owner Alden Global Capital is described as a vulture, a villain, even a vampire? Can you explain what you mean?

What is known about Alden’s profit margins for its newspapers?

But Amita, newspapers and consequently local news coverage has been shrinking for years now…what’s different about Alden?

Amita, The San Diego Union-Tribune has a long history in this region. Before its merger in 1992, the San Diego Union started publishing in 1868 and the Evening Tribune formed in 1895. What’s the takeaway from Alden’s purchase of the paper?


The Coronado Island Film Festival kicked off yesterday (Wednesday), and runs through Sunday.

One of the closing night events is a screening of the film, "The Secret Art of Human Flight."

Arts reporter Beth Accomando says audiences should take advantage of this opportunity.

Death may not be funny but sometimes humor can be found in the extreme lengths we might go to alleviate our grief. For Ben, who just lost his wife, that involves turning to a mysterious self-help guru who promises to teach him how to fly. What you're about to do, what I've already done, defies everything we've been conditioned to believe is possible. HP MENDOZA …I will always attack everything with humor…HP Mendoza directed The Secret Art of Human Flight in the midst of the pandemic and after the death of his father. Like Ben, he was looking for a way to cope with loss. HP MENDOZA … this movie is grief release. We've all been packing it in, and it's been pent up, and we're just looking for excuses to let go. The result is a film that takes a quirky, poetic, and whimsical approach to a serious issue. HP MENDOZA I think a lot of this is a kind of unexpected lightness that you wouldn't expect to feel amongst all that death. The Secret Art of Human Flight is an achingly sweet story about love and loss, and it would be a perfect way to close the Coronado Island Film Festival on Sunday. Beth Accomando, KPBS News.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. Join us again tomorrow for the day’s top stories. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Thursday.

President Joe Biden's approval rating among California voters just hit a low point. In other news, two cities in North County are teaming up in an effort to shelter homeless residents. Plus, in their heyday, big newspaper owners were called barons, moguls and king-makers, but our KPBS investigative reporter says far less regal names are used to describe the new owner of The San Diego Union-Tribune.