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Local developer buys San Diego U-T

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mpcincal, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. mpcincal

    mpcincal Well-Known Member

    Haven't seen this on the board yet, but a local real estate developer has bought the San Diego Union-Tribune from the private equity firm, and hired a local radio exec (NFL player John Lynch's dad) as chief executive. Both seem determined to make this thing work:


    However, there is an apparent tradeoff: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/environment/muck/article_aafd0af6-11a3-11e1-843d-001cc4c002e0.html

    Particularly telling is this passage:

    <<But Lynch said he wants the paper to be pro-business. The sports page to be pro-Chargers stadium. And reporters to become stars.

    "It's news information, but it's also show biz," Lynch said.>>
  2. Registered_Muser

    Registered_Muser New Member

    Considering that the U-T is already pretty much considered in the Chargers' pocket, no surprise here.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It's always kind of scary to see any paper get sold.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Anytime you get a local owner, consider it a good trade. You figure if the paper stinks or gets beat on an obvious story, he'll hear about it from his country club friends and be embarrassed.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Until recently, Lynch also was running XEPRS radio, the border-blaster sportstalk station (once owned by Wolfman Jack, IIRC) that has Padres rights. But I skim that Times blog and see another Santa Barbara in the making.
  6. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Yep. Apparently, the new owner was one of the main backers of the anti-gay marriage prop 8.

    But, hey, it's a free country and activist newspaper owners predate the Constitution, so good for him for thinking he should spend his money on trying to sway opinions by buying a newspaper.
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It's not like the Copley era was chock-full of great moments in journalism (see Copley and - reporters spying on anti-war protesters; - front for the CIA)
  8. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Yeah. Key words here are "real estate developer."
    The U-T sits on prime land in Mission Valley. And quite a bit of it.
    That's the investment. Not the newspaper itself.
  9. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    A lot of people think that, but consider:

    1.) The new guys say print has at least 10 years.

    2.) Building a new press facility would take at least two years and cost at least $75M even if you just moved your existing presses. The current site has easy access for delivery trucks to virtually every major freeway, allowing for later deadlines.

    3.) The land likely will be worth even more 10 years hence.
  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I get all that. And maybe it is a 10-year wait.
    OK, so wait five year, 10 years ... then see your No. 3.

    As for No. 1. I've worked for Dean Singleton, Tribune and Sam Zell (all before my current stop). So, I'm a bit distrusting when owners talk timetables.
    As for No. 2? If a newspaper can save a buck, or earn a buck by printing another product, by moving it's core product's deadline up, it will. Happened to me three times in my last four years in print.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    But, Papa Doug said he wouldn't ... wait ... oh, no ... That sound you hear is perception working its way down the shithole:
  12. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    I don't have a problem with a newspaper owner using his paper to support his private agenda.

    I'm hopeful that maybe this guy has some success at it so other developers will discover that owning the hometown newspaper is good for your bottom line.

    Papers -- and particularly the journalists who staff them -- have nothing else to lose.
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